The days are getting longer and the weather is beginning to pick up, which means that over the next few weeks you’re likely to see many of those motorcycles that have been under cover during the winter back on the road.
Riding a motorbike can be a dangerous affair. According to the government’s Think! campaign, motorcyclists are roughly 38 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than car occupants, per mile ridden. In 2013, 331 motorcyclists died and 4,866 were seriously injured in road collisions in Great Britain.
We all want to improve safety on our roads and there is much that can be done to help bring this about. However, helping to improve motorcycle safety levels is not just down to riders alone, and there are a number of things which car drivers can do to help look after those who choose to get from A to B on two wheels rather than four:
Weather conditions – bear the weather in mind and, if you’re travelling near a motorcyclist, think how conditions might affect them. Is it particularly windy or wet? Have you left a safe distance between you and them?
Keep your distance – Travelling too close to a motorcyclist may intimidate less experienced riders. And could you stop in time if the person in front slid off their motorbike?
Check blind spots – double-check for motorcyclists who may pass from behind you on either side, and always remember your blind spots.
Parking up – check for motorcyclists before you open your car door.
Of course, motorcyclists have a duty to be responsible and to look out for their own safety. If you’re a motorcyclist:
Get the correct equipment – Don’t get on your bike wearing jeans and T-shirt. It is important that you are protected from the worst the weather can throw at you, from flying debris and in case you slide off your bike. Try to wear a reinforced jacket and trousers, gloves and over the ankle footwear. And of course you need a helmet (see below)
Make yourself easy to spot – Wear bright colours and use reflective gear at night.
Ride defensively – Remain constantly alert and always be aware of the actions of others. Try to anticipate what’s going on around you and always take ‘lifesaver’ glances over your shoulder before making any manoeuvres
Get the correct helmet – Make sure your fits correctly and always get the safest one you can. Find out more about how to pick the right helmet for you at the SHARP website: http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/
Check the weather – if the weather is bad, try to avoid making a journey by motorbike if you can. Share a lift, take public transport or drive if you have access to a car.
For motorcyclists and motorists alike, some good quality hazard perception training will also help to up motoring skills and help boost safety levels on the road. To find out more about driver training, visit: http://www.tadea.com/effectivetransportsolutions