Tips for safe motorcycling
Motorcyclists agree that riding a motorcycle is not the same as driving a car. Motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles on the street, often difficult to see, and are perhaps the most vulnerable motor vehicles. It requires special care, technical knowledge and good driving skills to be safe.
It is said that a careful biker is one who imagines that he is invisible to other road users. When this principle is respected, the behaviour on the road changes - the motorcyclist notices not only the cars he is obliged to give way to, but also the vehicles parked on the side of the road or even on the side of the road.
Like other drivers, motorcyclists are subject to two basic rules: choose a safe speed and keep a safe distance. By driving at a safe speed and keeping a safe distance from other vehicles, you have more time to make decisions and take action to avoid road hazards. However, safe speed and legal speed are not the same. Traffic conditions, road conditions, and weather conditions must be taken into account, so safe speeds may be significantly lower than legal speeds.
The correct driving position on the traffic lane
The choice of driving position depends on the traffic conditions and the route. The right position not only improves the driver's visibility, but also that of other road users. Each lane can be divided into three positions: the first position is closest to the dividing lane, the second position is in the middle of the lane and the third position is closest to the right-hand edge of the road.
- On a country road, when it is not winding and traffic is not heavy, the safest positions for a motorcyclist are first and second. By choosing a position, you inform other road users of your intentions. If you are in the first position, stuck in the oncoming lane, you can give the impression that you are about to turn left or overtake, even if you do not display a turn signal. If you are in third position, leaning against the line marking the edge of the road, the driver of the car behind you may think you are about to turn right or stop at the next intersection.
- In town, the first position is the safest, but should be avoided if the car in front of you is in the left-hand lane. In this case, you are in a blind spot and risk a collision with the car. In this situation, you should choose to drive in second or third position. Remember that if you can see the eyes of the driver of the car in front of you in the mirrors, the driver can see you.
When approaching a junction, pay attention to the condition of the road: very often the middle of the lane is covered with oil slicks. If you ride on this or on a sandbank in the middle of the road, the wheels of the motorcycle will lose their grip and you may fall or collide with the vehicle in front of you.
- If you are driving on a street where cars are lined up on the side of the street, with spaces between them to enter the yards, it is safer to drive in the first position, reduce your speed and watch carefully for any of the parked cars to move. By driving in the first position, you protect yourself in case the door of one of the parked cars opens unexpectedly or a pedestrian jumps out from between the cars.
Potentially dangerous situations when riding a motorcycle are road bends, gravel and obstacles
Controlling your motorcycle through corners is crucial to riding a motorcycle. When approaching a corner, it is essential to :
- assess whether you can safely negotiate a curve at the speed you are travelling;
- evaluate the visibility of the road.
Take the turn at a steady speed. Reducing or increasing speed puts stress on the front of the motorcycle, reducing camber and straightening the path. Normally, the motorcycle is braked 70-80% by the front brake and the rest by the rear brake. However, if it is unavoidable that you must brake in a corner, apply half the braking force to the front wheel and half to the rear wheel. Avoid the front brake if the road is wet.
If you see a sandbar, manhole cover or other object in the road, drive straight through it, avoid swerving and use the front brake.
Left-hand offset of a car in a curve or in the oncoming lane, how can you avoid an accident?
This is probably the most dangerous situation a motorcyclist can find himself in. The chances of avoiding a collision are minimal, but there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of being involved in this situation.
- Wear full motorcycle clothing in a contrasting colour.
- Keep a close eye on each car and its position on the road.
- Keep a close eye on intersections, exits from areas, even the smallest roads that cross your path.
- Do not start a passing manoeuvre if the road has any bends.
- Always drive at a safe speed.
- Low visibility
Target fixation is a phenomenon of human concentration whereby a driver, surprised by an unexpected obstacle, focuses his or her attention on that obstacle and unintentionally steers towards it. This phenomenon is most common when turning on the road, or if you have entered a turn at too high a speed, or if the turn has a smaller radius than expected.
There is a very important principle when riding a motorcycle - where you look is where you go. It is very important not to be frightened or distracted by an unexpected obstacle on the road and to look in the direction you want to go. This is the only way to successfully avoid the obstacle
What to do in a "Guiding" situation
This is a particularly difficult-to-control phenomenon, unique to motorcycles, in which the front wheel loses its stability and is thrown from side to side with increasing amplitude until you fall off the motorcycle or hit an obstacle. The causes of steering are: geometric defects in the motorcycle frame, the condition of the tyres, looseness of the motorcycle frame, road irregularities and, in rare cases, wind. But the main cause is excessive speed.
If you are already in this situation, here are the tips:
- Do not slow down or brake suddenly.
- Keep a firm grip on the bike with your feet, try not to lose control of the handlebars and slow down gently.
- Relax your hands and let the motorcycle stabilize itself; if you try to hold the handlebars firmly with your hands, you will make the situation worse and increase the likelihood of an accident.
Position yourself correctly on the road to avoid accidents
A motorcyclist's position in the traffic lane is crucial to his or her safety. It's advisable to adopt a central position for better visibility and to be more visible to other road users. In addition, you need to be aware of any obstacles on the road, such as gravel or potholes, which can cause you to fall. Finally, it's important to anticipate bends by reducing speed before entering the bend, and keeping your eyes on the inside of the bend to avoid untimely offsets.