Top Ten Tips for Motorcycle Safety
There are few better feelings than being out on your motorcycle with the lure of the open road. However, along with that exhilarating ride also comes an element of risk. Without the protection that other road users have, an accident on a motorbike can be a life-changing event.
So, to ensure that you can get to where you need to be without incident, here are our top ten tips for avoiding a motorcycle accident.
1. Wear the right gear
Motorcycle riding means wearing the right gear – especially a helmet. A motorcycle really does leave you vulnerable to injury in the event of an accident. In fact, the UK Government considers motorcyclists as one of the most vulnerable user groups on the road.
Accidents do happen but wearing proper safety equipment helps protect you from severe injury, or even death should something go wrong on the road.
2. Hone Your Skills
Riding a motorcycle is not the same as driving a car, and it requires a high degree of skill and mental concentration. Ensure you know how to handle your bike, especially in emergency situations and wet conditions. You can do this by participating in courses or seminars that teach riders safer riding techniques.
3. Avoid Alcohol & Ride Ready
It shouldn’t really need saying, but this is so key to rider safety that we need to reiterate its importance. Don’t ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol because they diminish motor skills and slow reaction time. Also, be prepared for any kind of trouble on the road ahead by staying alert so don’t ride when you’re tired.
4. Watch Your Distance
Make yourself visible to other vehicles sharing the road with you by always keeping adequate space between them and you. This then gives you the time to adjust to the road conditions and distance yourself from any potentially dangerous situations.
5. Be Careful in Parking Areas
You might think that this is a part of the journey that’s low risk, but that’s not always the case. Ride slowly through car parks, watching for children running out and sudden stops by cars entering or leaving a parking space.
6. Watch Your Wheels When Parking
When parking your bike, be aware that an unexpected shift of weight as you dismount could affect how straight your wheels are as they go into the curb; check them before you sit down and be ready to respond to balance changes as you get off.
7. Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Car and van drivers can struggle to see the smaller size of a motorcycle, making them difficult to spot. This means that it’s essential that you don’t take your focus off other vehicles in your vicinity. Make sure to proactively scan the road, checking your mirrors as well as physically turning your head to check any blind spots.
8. Use Your Mirrors Effectively
Always use your mirrors, especially before changing lanes, it lets you see traffic that otherwise would have been blocked by your motorcycle body. It also gives you a chance to detect any hazards miles away and change lane position long before it’s too late – so check them regularly!
Many motorcycles now come with blind-spot monitors that alert you with an audible warning sign when a vehicle enters your blind spot. However, we still recommend a visual check as well.
9. Avoid Using Your Phone
Do not use your mobile phone while riding – even if you are using it as a hands-free device. There have now been several research studies published that have shown that drivers talking or texting on a cell phone is extremely dangerous because it diverts attention from focusing on the road ahead of you. This makes it more likely that you will miss important clues about potholes, changes in the road surface, or other potential dangers that could cause accidents.
10. Drive Defensively!
If another vehicle cuts in front of you, turns left in front of you, doesn’t signal, or even pulls into your lane without warning, remain calm. Remember that it’s almost always better to let the vehicle go than to try and chase after it aggressively.