top five motorbike safety tips
Safety is paramount when taking to the roads in any vehicle. Motorbikes are notorious for being the most dangerous vehicle on the roads. But with fatalities on a steady decline since 2008, riders are more aware now than ever of the potential hazards and how best to avoid them.
Here we’ve broken down the top ways that riders can avoid accidents. By taking these points into account before every ride, you will have a better understanding of the roads and how to avoid common incidents.
Collisions at junctions
Again, motorbikers put themselves in danger when travelling through junctions, particularly T-junctions. Many other drivers can fail to see a biker in these instances. However, frequent accidents at junctions are often the fault of a car driver, rather than a biker. It has been revealed that many car drivers can find it difficult to judge to speed that a bike is travelling at and this can be a contributing factor.
However, it is the responsibility of the biker to make sure that they are as visible as possible, even brightly coloured clothing and helmets can come in handy here. You could decide to think about how you would handle a car pulling out on you unexpectedly. Unfortunately, this can happen and lead to accidents more often than not.
Corners on country roads
Many bikers will have learned how to ride in towns and cities. So when heading out on a windy country road, it is important to be wary that left-hand bends can be particularly treacherous.
The problem with these bends is that you don’t know exactly what they are going to be like until you ride through them. Road signs will help to a certain extent, but knowing how your bike will cope on a bend can be new each time. Problems can arise when a biker may cross over the centre line in the road to navigate through a corner. Obviously, if an oncoming vehicle is heading round at the same time this can cause major accidents.
Bends and corners can open up once you head into them, others can be quite tight and difficult to safely drive through as a biker. You need to be able to read the road and notice which tactic is best to take when tackling a corner. Being aware of different roads and road conditions are all important elements that will make you a better, more experienced and ultimately a safer rider.
When overtaking on a motorbike, as a rider you need to know the power of your bike and what it is capable of doing. This is pretty basic driving stuff, with most of it applying to car drivers too. However, most of the time a motorbike can overtake much faster than a car, but it is still important to be extra-vigilant in your overtaking and only to do this when it is safe. You should never overtake on a blind bend, at a junction or on hills.
The manouver of filtering is when a biker moves through queues of slow-moving or stationary traffic. This method of riding is completely legal, and you will often see motorbikes and cyclists moving through traffic in this way. Sometimes people may refer to this as lane splitting.
It is important to keep your speed low when filtering, we would advise that anything over 15-20mph could be a dangerous speed to do this at. You need to make sure that as a biker you are seen by other vehicles. If you are filtering at a high speed then other cars may not see you and this is precisely how accidents occur.
Loss of control
Losing control of a bike can be a scary thought. Plus, as many of these points that we have highlighted show, these issues can arise and are often not the bikers fault. Many problems with the roads for bikers can come from badly surfaced roads or damage. Potholes can often be difficult to spot on a bike when travelling at high speed. Equally, diesel spillages are extremely slippery and can send a biker travelling off course, ending up with them losing control of their vehicle.
Accidents with other drivers can cause a rider to lose control of a bike, for example, if a rider has been shunted from behind. You can help to avoid this by leaving plenty of room between the vehicle in front of you. It is always important to take pictures of any accident that you have, this includes the state of the road that you were travelling on, especially if it is the condition of the road that has caused or contributed to your crash.
There is plenty more that can be done to avoid accidents, and the best way to protect yourself is to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. If you’re looking for bike finance, see if we can help you here.