Motorbikes make up just 1% of road traffic, but are involved in 20% of the total number of deaths and serious accidents on the roads.
With over half of all fatal motorbike accidents involving another vehicle, there is clearly a lack of understanding between road users and bike riders.
In the majority of accidents involving a bike and another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle was at fault, with simply not looking being the main cause.
As a car driver, here are some things to bear in mind to improve road safety:
- Motorbikes have a narrow profile. This means that they are easily obscured by a car's blind spots. Taking extra care when checking blind spots when changing lanes or turning will help you have a better understanding of what is going on around you.
A bikes size also makes it difficult to judge its distance when looking in your mirrors. Always drive assuming that a bike is closer than you think it is.
- A motorbike my change lane position more frequently than a car. Due to the risk posed by things like potholes, debris and changes in road surface, it may appear that a bike rider is swerving around in their lane. Account for these changes when overtaking, giving a bike a wider berth than you would when passing another car.
- Many bikes do not have self cancelling indicators. Riders sometimes forget to turn these off, especially if they are inexperienced. Keep this in mind at all times, especially when pulling out at junctions.
- A bike rider can slow down without using the brake. They do this by easing off the throttle or shifting down a gear. This means that the brake light doesn't come on. Increase your following distance to compensate for this.
- Keep distractions in your car to a minimum. Most accidents are the result of a lack of concentration.
As a motorbike rider, here are some tips to keep you safer on the roads:
- Ride defensively. Never make assumptions about how another driver will behave.
- Wear the correct safety equipment. If the worst does happen then it could save your life.
- Poor weather conditions will affect your bike much more than they will affect a car. If you have to ride in poor weather, pay extra attention to your stopping distances and take care when turning corners.
- Keep an eye on your following distances. Make sure you have enough room to stop if the vehicle in front of you brakes suddenly.
Does anyone have any more tips to improve road safety?
This piece was written by Mark Enright, a car enthusiast and writer for Evans Halshaw, an independant seller of new and used cars.
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