Motorcycling is adventurous but it makes you equally vulnerable. Whether it is the speed, lack of proper safety gear or mistakes of other drivers on the road, motorcyclists are more prone to accidents and some of them are bad. Bad enough to cost you a part of your body or in the worst case your life.
Some defensive key rules if followed can reduce the probability of meeting with an accident. These must be taken care of.
Read ahead –
1. DO NOT TAKE IT CASUAL EVER – They say ‘speed kills’ but so does overconfidence. The biggest mistake you can make on the road is taking it super casual. Does not matter how expert you are or how long you have been riding for if you take it casually it will cost you big time. Do not assume that other riders, whether they are riding a motorcycle or a car, will take care of you. Taking care of your safety is your duty on the road. You should not and must not take it casually.
2. DRESS UP ACCORDINGLY – As far as you can you should try wearing reflective and bright colours, especially at night. In case you are riding in foggy weather, you need to be even more cautious. Dress up keeping in mind the fact that you need to be visible to other riders. Ladies! A word of Caution- Dressing up like a biker chic is nothing wrong but dressing up for a fashion show definitely is. Avoid overly voluminous stuff so that even in case of an accident you can easily manage yourself and not get lost in your oversized top. Body-hugging stuff is more advisable here.
3. PROPER SAFETY GEAR – Riding gear is something without which you should not even think of setting out on the road. A DOT approved helmet is a must-have. Add to it professional riding gloves, leg protection wear, high ankle shoes or anything you find secure and comfortable. A proper tool-kit containing all the safety tools must be in your tank-bag whenever you set out for a trip.
4. FOCUS IS THE KEY – Focus is the key. Every time you set out on the road your sense organs need to be hyperactive. Not just your own motorcycle but other riders on the road and their activities also need an equal amount of attention if not more. You cannot let your attention wander even for a second. Getting lost in thoughts or daydreaming can prove to be fatal. You have to multitask in your mind and keep predicting what kind of possible hurdles can you come across further and what you should anticipate next. Nothing else should be on your mind while driving.
5. APPLY BRAKES – Being overly dependent on the grip can also put you in danger. Only when the roads are clean, dry and the sun is shining bright should you trust your tires completely. Drive at such a speed that applying brakes in a hurry does not make the back tire swing up. Even small amounts of dirt or gravel on the road, wet or bumpy roads with speed breakers should be enough to discourage you from going over speed. These provide fair enough chances to the tires to lose traction.
6. NO WRONG SIGNALS – Giving mixed signals or any kind of wrong indications can be dangerous not just for you but others also. Having a sound knowledge of road safety rules, signs and signals is a must for every motorcyclist.
7. OPEN SPACES ARE FOR YOU – Motorcycling is no doubt an adventure activity. The thrill of the ride increases with speed. But you simply can’t experience that on roads used by people to commute to their offices. Urban and suburban areas do not fall under your domain.
8. AVOID COMPANY – Riding in large groups of bikers while continuously chatting and talking is something you should avoid. It will only make you lose focus. Yes, it sounds fun and appealing but it is dangerous. Even one second of lost focus can cost you a fortune. Unknown groups of people should be especially kept at bay. If you and a few close friends are going together for some adventure biking, it is advisable that once you put your helmets on, instead of paying attention towards each other set your focus straight.
9. DRINK AND DRIVE – Drinking and driving can be a total disaster especially if you are still a novice trying hands at biking. You also must not be proud of yourself if you make it to home safe and sound driving at more than 100 km h with a bottle of wine down. You definitely are not making a right choice and it is an open invitation to death. An important point to be noted here – It doesn’t make you cool.
10. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BIKE – Lastly, take care of your bike. Maintain it properly. Take it to the service centre as and when required. Change the engine oil at frequent intervals. All the motorcycle accessories such as crash protection, covers, bash plates etc must be changed from time to time. You cannot afford a chain breaking or a tire blowout.
These were just some safety measures. People have survived even worst accidents but that doesn’t mean you need to hurt yourself. Drive safe!