Thursday, 1 December 2011 21:08:40 Europe/London
Importance of road safety for motorcyclists
Biking is an amazing experience. Sitting on the beast that is your motorcycle, adrenalin and a feeling of power rush through you as its engine roars. Leaning and twisting around curves and turns, weaving through traffic, and feeling the wind on your face as you gun it on an open road. Riding a motorcycle can indeed be thrilling. But it can also be very dangerous.
Though accidents can happen with any vehicle, motorcycles tend to be much more dangerous thanks to their dependence on body balance and their lack of safety features. Given that they only come with two wheels, if you lose your balance while driving a motorcycle, it is pretty certain you will end up lying on the road. Neither do motorcycles have a closed frame and a roof, nor do they have features like seatbelts or air bags. Basically, the vehicle cannot protect you from damage. So the onus to be extra careful falls on you, its rider.
The very simplest thing for you as a motorcyclist to do is to follow the law. Most countries have extra and specific laws for motorcyclists, given the added danger. These laws are there for your own safety as well as the safety of your co-commuters. Obey speed limits, follow traffic lights and driving signals, don't do reckless swerving, and don't attempt stunts on open roads. For the latter, go to dedicated bike clubs where you won't put others at risk. Of course, the most important and basic road safety measure for motorcyclists is to wear a helmet. If you do end up getting in an accident and falling, that is the only thing that can save you from brain injury.
Besides following traffic rules, you should also take good care of your bike. Check it up regularly and get it serviced at periodic intervals. Ensure your motorcycle's brakes, lights, horn, etc. are working properly. Get any faulty parts repaired or replaced. You don't want them to become a factor at the wrong time.
One of the main concerns for motorcyclists is the lack of care some car or lorry drivers have for them. There is often a complaint that drivers of 4 wheel vehicles are much more careless in observing their side and rare view mirrors when turning or pulling out of a junction. Added to the fact, bikes are off course able to pick up speed very rapidly, there is serious reason to be concerned about the overall outcome of such negligence.
Personally, as someone who has owned a bike for well over 12 years, I find the best way to stay safe on the road is to ensure that I am extra alert, compared to when driving my car. This also includes making sure my clothing ( including my helmet is highely visible ). I also make a point of wearing ear plugs for motorcycles, as I find that helps me concentrate on the important elements of riding and not worry about the noise generated by my engine.
It is always better to be safe than sorry. Any carelessness or recklessness while riding a bike can turn into a disaster. So follow the law and take care.