Summer is the ideal time to get your motorbike out of the garage. Thoughts of opening up the throttle on the wide open roads and gorgeous weather with no ice, slush or rain to deal with are tempting for motorbike enthusiasts across the country. The only thing spoiling this perfect picture is the safety issue.
Regardless of weather and road conditions, riding a two-wheeler can be riskier than driving around in a four-wheeler. That does not mean you need to keep your beloved bike all wrapped up in the garage. Instead, these tips will help you stay safer on the road while riding on your motorbike.
Check Your Motorbike
Road safety starts before you head out on the road. It starts with checking your motorbike over first. Checking the tyre pressure is the most crucial pre-ride check. The tyre pressure must be within the recommended limits for your motorbikes model. If you are not sure what that is, it will be mentioned in the manual.
Also test the brakes and make sure you have enough fuel in the tank before taking your ride out on the road.
Wearing The Right Clothing Is Important
What you wear plays a key role in staying safe on the roads. Wearing a good quality motorcycle helmet tops the list of right clothing to wear when riding a motorbike. Even if you do unfortunately meet with an accident and fall off your bike, your helmet will help to keep your head protected from serious injury.
Good riding gloves made of leather will protect your hands from serious abrasions and burn injuries if you fall off the bike and go skidding across the tarred road.
The weather may be warm enough to wear shorts and sandals but if you are going riding on your motorbike, wearing shorts and sandals are a really bad idea. They offer no protection at all if you fall off the bike. Always wear a protective jacket and trousers and a sturdy pair of boots.
Stay Visible At All Times
Did you know that in most motorbike accident trials, the defendant has almost always claimed that they did not see the rider? They are not making it up either. Compared to the huge vehicles on the road, a motorbike can be relatively insignificant. Drivers instinctively pay more attention to the larger vehicles on the road so they can stay out of their way. In doing this, they inadvertently ignore the smaller vehicles, particularly two-wheelers.
It gets even worse if you and your motorbike blend in with the background. Wearing brightly coloured clothes and sticking bright neon strips on your jacket, helmet and motorbike will help you stay more visible on the roads so drivers of cars and other larger vehicles cannot help but notice you on the road.
Ride Defensively And Be Aware Of Potential Accident Spots
The single best way to stay safe on the road is by riding defensively. This applies to all types of vehicles but more so to motorbikes.
So what does riding defensively mean? It simply means being keenly aware of your surroundings at all times and matching your riding to fit these surroundings while watching out for potential accident risks.
How Do You Drive Defensively? These Tips Will Help
Always scan the road ahead – Just because the road looks clear for miles ahead, it you cannot completely rule out the occasional pot-hole or bump in the road. At high speed, a small obstacle on the road could send a motorbike skidding. You must always scan the road ahead and look for potential hazards, especially when riding at high speed.
Anticipate other road users’ reactions – You may be a careful rider and stick to your lane while riding, but everyone does not think the same way. They may decide to cut in front of you suddenly to overtake another vehicle, causing you to swerve and fall if you are not being watchful.
Be aware of pedestrians – Every once in a while you will come across pedestrians who just couldn’t be bothered to get to the zebra crossing to cross the road. If you see a person standing at the side of the road, as you approach watch them carefully to see if they are making any movement to cross the road.
Be especially careful at junctions and bends – Junctions and bends in the road are high-accident areas. There could be other drivers pulling out from driveways and side streets onto the main road, catching you off-guard. Another hazard is if the vehicle ahead of you turns without warning you with their indicator. If their indicator is not on and you do not notice that they have slowed down their speed, you could ram into the vehicle headlong.
Be careful when overtaking – A large percentage of motorbike accidents occur when overtaking. Exercising caution when overtaking is absolutely crucial. Never overtake at full speed. Proceed cautiously, first checking that there are no vehicles coming down on the other side of the road. Also, never overtake near junctions, at blind corners, and when approaching side roads. If another car comes into your path when you are overtaking at the above mentioned sites, you may not have enough time to get yourself out of harm’s way.
Speed & braking – Motorbike accidents are not always caused because of high speed. There are several other factors that come into play, from pot holes and oil spills to other drivers and pedestrians. When you are riding at high speed, you may not have enough time to react to potential hazards and avoid getting injured. The higher your speed, the less time you have to react.
Riding a motorbike safely takes practice, and common sense. Adhering to proven safety tips will ensure you enjoy exciting rides on your motorbike while reducing potential risks.