Live to ride another day

Hein Jonker, Editor of BikeTalk says, “Training (theory and practical) gives you the skill and technique to drive confidently especially when you put into practice what you have learned.” There is no other way – No Shortcut!”.

With increasing traffic on the roads and rising fuel costs, swapping your mode of transport to a zippy, fuel-efficient motorcycle may start sounding more and more attractive. However, safety is always a necessity. No matter how far or how often you ride, there is always a risk of unfortunate encounters with other road users.

Here are 9 motorcycle road safety tips to keep you riding safely on the roads:

1.Service your motorcycle regularly. The condition of your motorcycle is very important when it comes to your safety. As you would with your car, check (as often as possible) that it is in good riding condition. Check your lights, brakes, tyres and shocks before you ride. While you’re at it, get into the habit of riding with your main beams on, especially in low visibility conditions this will allow other road users to see you from a distance.

2.Make no compromises on your riding gear – your safety depends on it! Wear the right fitting shoes when riding, preferably ankle-high boots, as open shoes may pop off in the event of an impact. Whatever clothing you wear, ensure that you have knee, hip, elbow and shoulder padding with back protection. In the winter time, add a scarf to protect your neck. Don’t forget over-the-wrist full finger gloves to protect your hands. Last but certainly not least, a full-face helmet. Cover as much skin as you can to protect yourself from possible injury.

3.Consider your speed. As tempting as it may seem to zip through traffic without the bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go, consider the other road users as well. Speed limits are there to protect the road user. Ride at a speed that is safe enough to allow reaction time should you need to come to a sudden stop.

4.Increase your following distance. This may sound unrealistic, as you can manoeuvre your way past the bigger vehicles. However, keeping a safe distance will allow you to anticipate any sudden changes in traffic movement and allow you the time to respond accordingly to ensure your safety.

5.Step on your rear brake. When slowing down, remember to pump your rear brake to warn oncoming traffic behind you that you are about to slow down.

6.Don’t be a stunt man. You may be tempted to show off the power of your motorcycle from time to time by performing attractive stunts or revs on the road, but this is dangerous! You should not only consider your safety, but the safety of other road users as well. The open road is not a controlled environment – even for the trained professional, anything could go wrong. Ride within your comfort zone and do not exceed the speed limit.

7.Don’t drink and ride. If you find yourself in a situation where you may have drank too much alcohol on a night out in town, consider alternative transport to get yourself home safely rather than to risk riding under the influence and increasing the chances of an accident. Download the MiWay app and call our Take Me Home service to book yourself a driver if you are too drunk to drive.

8.Don’t ride when you’re exhausted. You may think you’ll make it, but it’s not worth the risk. Instead, take some time to rest and revive a bit before swinging your leg over the saddle. If you can, arrange alternative transport with a friend, family member or WeDrive from Miway.

9.Check the weather forecast. Keeping tabs on the weather forecast may sound like admin; however, it can be beneficial to you. Knowing what to expect with regards to the weather will help you gear up correctly for the ride and plan your trip to minimise risks.

Keeping these tips in mind when riding could be the difference between a grim ride and a safe ride to your destination. Arrive Alive shares more motorcycle safety and the young rider.

Road safety is a necessity with all the dangers lurking on the roads; why not take it a step further by getting motorcycle insurance with an insurer that understands bikers’ insurance needs from personal experience?

Reshma Chedie

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