For many bikers life on two wheels is about much more than simply getting from A to B. It is about the freedom of the open road, feeling more in touch with the world and having fun (while getting from A to B). But, it can also be incredibly hazardous.
Motorbike riders are more at risk than car drivers because they are more exposed and sometimes more difficult to spot out on the road. They also have no roll cage or seat belt to protect them in the event of an accident.
This is why it is vital that bikers, along with other road users, take steps to prevent accidents whenever they are on the roads.
The best and simplest way for bikers to ensure they are not involved in a road traffic accident is to make sure that they can always be seen. New motorbikes usually have headlights that automatically come on, day or night, which can help. Of course, after dark the lights are compulsory for all road users anyway.
For additional visibility, especially at night, in winter months or in poor weather, bikers can wear hi-vis and reflective clothing to stand out. This ensures that other motorists can see them as they approach.
Bikers will already be well versed in assessing and responding to the road and this can go a long way to preventing accidents. For example, those who ride will know that grids, manhole covers and white lines can be very slippery when wet and so they will go round them. Other road users may not realise this and so this can be a common reason for accidents or near-misses.
Bikers, unfortunately, also should always assume that other motorists have not seen them or will not realise how they have to turn or stop in certain ways. They have to do a certain amount of second-guessing and allowing for other road users to prevent them being involved in an accident.
Bikers should make their intentions as clear as possible as early as practicable. If they think another road user will not have realised they are about to turn then hand signals can be used as an extra indication of intentions. Some bikers feel that this is annoying and should not be needed, but the sad truth is that it often is and it is better to make the effort and avoid an accident.
Date Published: September 23, 2013
Author: David Brown