10 Quick Tips for Your Motorcycle Safety
We don’t want any motorcycle accident claims coming into us while the weather outside is less than ideal for a decent ride; but we know that bikers still want to get out there, so how should they stay safe?
Carry on playing the “Invisible” card
OK, nothing changes here, you know that car drivers find it difficult to see you, so carry on believing that you are completely invisible and ride accordingly. Don’t let the lack of observation by others on the road lead to a bad accident involving you.
Warm up your mind before you ride
I will never ride within an hour of waking up, I know that my brain needs this 60 minutes to fully get working and be alert, and the one thing we all know as a biker is that you need to be more alert than the average driver out there, and especially if the weather is poor.
On a similar vein, don’t ride when angry or upset, it will affect your performance on the road.
Patience Is a Virtue
I know the feeling all too well, you want to get out there – on the open road, but the weather is far from ideal! Check the forecast or wait an hour, you never know, that inclement weather could clear and make your journey safer!
It’s best to be prepared
I remember once been desperate for fuel and I knew I had forgot my wallet, so I panicked all the way home, since then I always kept a crisp £20 note in any of the vehicles I used so I know I always had that to fall back on – sods law – I never needed it. Same when I take a brolly out with me, it never rains!
The same principle applies to riding, wear all of your full protective gear every time you ride, the day you decide not to wear it is the day you’ll have an accident!
Prepare for the worst!
Let’s be nice out there
We know that 60 percent of motorcycle accidents with cars are caused by the driver of the car, so it’s easy to put them in a pigeon-hole and assume that they are all out to get you; but they’re not, and it’s better for your riding technique and your stress levels if you just presume that anyone that pulls out on you, or fails to give way genuinely hasn’t seen you, the poor weather could be to blame – anyway, lets presume that it is a genuine mistake and not a personal attack.
Don’t be a hare!
You tend to see this attitude more with car drivers – they are stood at lights waiting for them to turn green, when all of a sudden the racing driver in them takes over and they need to be the fastest vehicle away!
Doesn’t happen as often with bikers (although it’s always best to pull away quickly and confidently to avoid getting caught up with other vehicles. But once away, remember you’re not on a race circuit, we’d rather you got to your destination in one piece!
Keep those eyes on the road
Keep your eyes fixed on the road, especially when the weather starts to turn and there is the threat of standing water, or worse still, a threat of ice.
When the weather is cold, it’s easy to let the chill creep in and disrupt your concentration. At this time of the year, it’s essential that you keep your eye on the ball (and the road), look out for slippery surfaces, poor road conditions and any other potential hazards. Keep your head in the game!
Mirrors and Shoulders
OK, it goes without saying that you are always going to check your mirrors because you’re a good rider, and you’re going to check them every time you make a turn, change lanes; when you slow down or come to a complete stop.
But as well as your mirrors, take time to check over your shoulder too, make doubly sure you know what’s around you, the movement also helps drivers be more aware of you.
Careful! There’s a car door about!
Standard stuff this I know, but be careful of those drivers that have a habit of swinging open those car doors without looking who is coming up beside them, if it isn’t a driver then it’s a passenger who could be less ‘road aware’ than the driver.
Give stationary traffic ample room, and obviously expect that door to swing out at you!
Cover Those Brakes
Yeah I know, day one of bike riding school you are taught to cover those brakes, but it really is worth mentioning in this article. Obviously in an emergency your front brake is your best friend, but where possible, try to use both together. Be prepared, be safe!