If you’re a biker, there’s every chance that you enjoy the thrills and spills of the open road. There’s nothing more exhilarating than speeding through the countryside with nobody for company. Biking can be fun, it gets your pulse racing, and it gives you an appreciation of your surroundings. But it’s also dangerous. You want to get the best out of your bike, but safety should always be a priority. If you come off a bike at speed, or you’re involved in a collision, there’s a high risk of severe injuries. If you’re a biker, here are some essential tips to keep you safe on two wheels.
Before you leave
Before you embark on any journey, no matter how short or quick, it’s vital to make sure you have the right safety equipment to hand. When you’re riding a bike, you don’t have a protective shell around you. If you come off the bike, it’s just you against the tarmac. Before you leave, you’ll need to make sure you have appropriate clothing, and additional accessories to prevent injury. Even if you’re just popping a mile down the road, you still need to wear protective clothing. You should have padded trousers, and a heavy-duty jacket, as well as gloves and a helmet.
Your helmet is perhaps the most important piece of kit you’ll buy. If you do get knocked off, your helmet could make the difference between life and death. Head injuries can be life-threatening, and if you haven’t got a helmet, you stand every chance of sustaining life-changing injuries. Don’t just buy any old helmet. Choosing the right helmet is important. If you search online or you visit a motorsport store, you’ll find that there are lots of different styles, brands, and models. This can make selecting one product difficult. The best thing to do is try some helmets on for size, and see which ones you find comfortable. Always look out for stickers, which confirm that the helmet meets safety standards. If you’re not sure which type of helmet would be best for you, ask an assistant for advice. You may also find reading reviews online useful.
Before every journey, it’s also advisable to check your bike. If you carry out basic checks before you go, the risk of accidents will be reduced. Have a look at the tyres, check that your registration plate is clearly visible, and look for any signs of oil or fuel leaks. Give the brakes a quick test, and make sure your lights are working. Finally, make sure you have enough fuel to complete the journey.
Safety on the road
There’s an assumption that bikers are thrill-seekers who love nothing more than the feel of driving full throttle on a deserted road. This may be true in some cases, but many bikers are excellent drivers. It takes skill to control a bike, especially on rough terrain. If you are planning a journey, always ensure that safety is your number one concern. You may get the chance to drive at 70 mph on an open road. But you may also encounter plenty of traffic, winding lanes, blind bends, and unexpected hazards like pedestrians or animals.
Pay attention to the speed limit at all times. You may think that it seems unnecessarily slow, but the maximum figure is there for a reason. If you exceed this limit, you’ll be increasing your risk of injuring yourself and others, and you may be liable for penalties and punishments.
Take extra care when driving in adverse weather conditions. If it’s icy, you’ll need to reduce your speed and increase your stopping distance. If it’s foggy, drive slowly, and make sure you have your lights on. If storms, heavy rainfall or snow are forecast, consider delaying your journey. Listen out for bulletins, and take advice from experts. If there are warnings in place, consider staying at home. If the weather suddenly changes while you’re driving, find a safe place to pull over.
Give other road users time and space. Keep a safe distance, and make sure you have plenty of time to complete overtaking maneuvers. Try to avoid weaving in and out of lines of traffic. If you do want to move forward in queuing traffic, it’s best to stick to one lane.tor
If you thrive on the excitement of hitting the roads on two wheels, bear these safety tips in mind. You may want to enjoy the ride of your life, but you also want to return in one piece. Make sure you’re fully prepared before you head out, and obey the rules of the road.