If you are motorbike rider, it doesn’t matter how competent you are, accidents are always a possibility in every life. Taking into account the actual number of bikes on the road compared with other vehicles, motorcyclists account for a much higher percentage of deaths and injuries than car drivers. Although it’s often other drivers who cause the problems, how can you ensure you drive as safely as possible?
Maintain your bike
Before you set off on any journey you should ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy – this in itself could help prevent an accident. It’s especially important if you do not use the vehicle regularly, or you are going on a long trip. Check the levels of your brake fluids, oil and water and make sure that all your lights and indicators are working correctly, and take a look at the tyres to ensure that the tread is at an adequate depth.
Correct posture and equipment
It’s important that both you and any passengers are sat correctly on the bike. This will help you to ride better and make for a safer journey. You should be sat in the middle of the seat with your feet securely on the foot pegs. Both hands should be on the handlebars at all times.
As a motorcyclist you have far less protection from the road conditions and other vehicles than someone driving a car. Therefore, it’s important that you wear the correct clothing to protect yourself and enable other road users to see you. It’s essential that you wear a helmet, gloves, leather clothing and boots for all journeys you make, as these will limit the damage caused by a collision. By wearing bright or florescent clothing in the day and reflective materials at night, you will help other drivers see you more clearly.
How you drive can also have a bearing on the nature of accidents. Whilst you obviously can’t predict what other motorists will do, you can make sure you’re as prepared as possible for any situation. You don’t have to drive slowly all the time, but it is important that you drive in a safe manner. Focus on the road and your surroundings, making sure that you check your mirrors and other lines of sight regularly. Before making any manoeuvres have another check over your shoulder to ensure it’s safe.
When you’re riding you should try to anticipate what other drivers or pedestrians might do so that you can react much quicker and avoid accidents if possible. Keep a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles so that you have enough time and room to brake if an incident develops in front of you. Be careful when moving through queuing traffic, as drivers could pull out without seeing you, and you should only overtake if you’ve got a clear view of the road ahead.
You’ll never be able to stop accidents occurring, but you can help to limit their frequency or impact.