Riding is one of the best activities to engage in, the thrill of navigating the road smoothly on your motorcycle is one that cannot be matched. However, as fun as it is, riding also has its dangers. This is why it is a priority for every rider to ride safely at all times, using defensive riding tips. These tips are fully discussed below.
- Maintain Your Visibility At All Times: You must understand that you share the road with other vehicles as a biker. Motorcycles are usually hard for other motorists to see, which is why you must endeavour to maximize your visibility. Your positioning is very important in staying visible. One thing you should why, is that the viewing angle of cars and vans makes spotting bikers very difficult. This is why you must keep enough space between your bike and a car. Going for bright colors when it comes to your motorcycle and choice of clothing also improves your visibility significantly. A loud bike will also alert other motorists to your presence on the road.
- Be Alert At Junctions: A very high percentage of motorcycle accidents occur at junctions, meaning you need to be alert when approaching them. Always look ahead when approaching a junction, in order to plan your movement on getting there. Scan the area for other drivers, and be aware of side streets and bends. A lot of motorists pull out onto the main road from these side streets, making it a very tricky route to navigate. You therefore need to control your speed when you get to junctions, as this enables you to take evasive actions if need be.
- Speed and Braking: Overspeeding is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. It is therefore advisable to drive within the speed limit at all times, as it gives you more control over your motorcycle. Overspeeding makes it very difficult to take evasive actions, whenever you are faced with hazards and dangers putting you in greater danger of an accident. You must learn to stay visible at all times, keep enough space between your bike and other vehicles and also know how to use your brakes properly.
- Overtake Carefully: Overtaking accidents in motorcycling is a hazard that can be easily avoided. All you need to do is to exercise caution when overtaking at all times. Be alert to oncoming vehicles, before overtaking. Also, avoid overtaking around blind corners, near road sides, and junctions as other vehicles might be approaching. You must also be careful when you find yourself in traffic on multiple lane roads, as drivers often change lanes without indicating. Again, you must ensure to stay visible at all times, to enable other motorists to recognize your presence.
- Be Alert At Bends: Navigating bends while riding can be very trickish if you are not moving at the right speed. Failure to identify hazards and avoid them also make bends one of the most dangerous areas for riders. Avoid speeding at bends, rather move slower as you approach to give you a better view of the area and increase your visibility as well. This way, you can easily stay safe at bends with little trouble.
- Ride Together Safely: Riding in a group adds more fun to the journey and is one of the greatest joys for every rider. It is, however, important always to ride safely when moving in a group. You must take into consideration the skills of everyone in the group when moving to avoid getting in each other’s way. In the event that you are in the lead, do not move too fast, as this might serve as an incentive for the less experienced riders to increase speed. Also, make sure to avoid lane sharing, as this might affect your visibility in the long run. A staggered formation is a better option as it makes every rider visible, and create more room for maneuvers. Do not overtake another rider in the ground unless you are parallel with him, as this prevents clashing with one another. The whole group should ride as close to each other as possible, as this makes the ride safer and adds more fun to it.
- Be Confident: Being confident while riding is a trait that every rider must have, as this makes you a better rider. You will be able to pick your lane easily, and also know when to turn or brake. Riding with confidence also means that you will be able to navigate turns, bends, and junctions better.
- Protective Gear and Clothing: Like in every sport, it is important to always wear protective gear and clothing whenever you are riding. Protective clothing and gear give you better protection in the event of an accident. They also give you all the covering you need against harsh weather conditions, as well as elements like bacteria, germs, and dust. Eyewear, like motorcycle goggles, is always necessary as well as boots, gloves, and leather pants. Helmets are also needed during winter riding. Always study the weather condition, and choose protective clothing that will keep you warm or cool, as the case may be.
- Maintain Your Motorcycle: A rider is only as good as his motorcycle. You must make sure that your bike is adequately taken care of, with essential parts like tires in prime condition. Also, ensure that all fluids are at an adequate level and enough for the journey.
- Follow Traffic Rules: You must obey all traffic rules to keep you and other motorists safe. Do not disobey the traffic lights, and never go above the speed limit. You should also take the time to study all the local traffic laws of any city in which you ride.
These are ten of the most crucial defensive riding tips that make you a better biker. You must ensure to follow these tips at all points to enjoy a safe riding experience.
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