By Wang’ombe Kibunja
Riding a motorbike has become a necessity to a lot of people around the world. It is a fun and satisfying experience, but it requires care and attention. It comes with many rules and laws both written and unwritten that ensure your safety. A rider is at higher risk of being seriously injured when they are involved in accidents than car drivers, and motorcycle riders are the easiest to cause an accident. To be safe on a motorcycle, you have to follow all the traffic rules and wear the right garments for the ride. To ensure your safety and those of others, here are some safety tips you need to follow for your own safety and other road users.
Wear a helmet and protective eyewear
Wearing a helmet is essential to avoid severe head injuries. A motorbike rider or passenger is more likely to get a critical head injury when not wearing a helmet. The easiest way to increase your chances of safety is wearing a top-quality, fitting helmet every time you are on your motorcycle. Also make sure that the Helmet is strapped on in a snug fit to avoid the helmet being a hazard by either flying off your head on impact or spinning around when in speeds blocking your view. If you have a passenger, make sure they have their helmet on too. And never have more than one passenger.
Wear the appropriate gear
Without the proper attire in an accident, the friction of the road can cause severe damage to your body. Even when it is hot, you should try wearing leather or anything that provides a layer between you and the road. It could make all the difference if you fall off of your bike, acting as a shock absorber. These gears include boots, gloves which will minimize the injuries in an accident or when skidding. You should always make sure that you attach or wear something with reflective tape on your clothing for you to be more visible even during the night. Make sure you have padded clothing on the parts that stick out like your knees, elbows and knuckles so as to minimize impact. Clothes that are bright and reflective strips ensure that you are visible on the road. Always ensure you stand out and are visible on the road, dull clothes may make you disappear and blend with the tarmac depending on the position of the sun and visibility of the road.
Have your daily motorcycle inspections
It does no matter how good of a rider you are; you can always get in trouble if your bike has any mechanical issues. It would be best if you made it a habit every day, and every ride you inspect your bike before you ride is to ensure that it is safe. Your inspections should include checking your headlights, taillights, turn signals, brakes, fuel, oil, tire pressure, mirrors, handlebars, and horn. With daily check-ups, you are ensured that you will not have any break failures or such.
Do not drink and Ride
The point has been emphasized enough, but people still do not take it seriously. There is no amount of alcohol, drugs, or any intoxicants that are safe enough for riding a motorcycle. If you are intoxicated, you should take another ride home and not put your life and that of others at stake.
Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
Taking a reputable safety course will teach you basic and advanced techniques to help you be a safer and more confident rider. Riding requires skills, and you need to pass the test to get your license to ride. There are advanced safety courses designed for motorcyclists that help you tackle real-life situations more effectively. Take refresher courses also when you upgrade your bike or change the motorcycle type.
Focus on the Road
When you read almost all motorcycle safety guidelines, they all tell you to do this, and it is not difficult to see why. When you are on a motorcycle, you have to focus more than anyone else, this is because you are the smallest motor vehicle on the road and you can be easily ignored or not seen by a driver hence causing an accident. You have to keep your eyes to what is in front of you and on the road. Being more focused will help you know when to hit the brake and when to slow down.
Maintain a Healthy Speed
Speed limits are there for a reason, and different routes have different road limits. You have to stay within the limit to ensure that you are safe and other people around you. If you are on empty and wide roads with few many vehicles, it is agreeable to ride at top speed under the limit set for that road. If you find a street with too many turns and bends, you are advised to ride at a minimum speed to avoid surprises, especially places with blind spots. Remember to always keep left unless overtaking and to be extra cautious if you are doing below the highway speeds on a super highway you may use the service lane so as to avoid creating unnecessary traffic which may make motorists try to shove you as they overtake. Remember even being too slow can make you cause or get involved in an accident.
Know the weather conditions
When it rains, the raindrops reduce your visibility and the grip of your tires on the road, which can make cornering difficult. If need be to ride in the rain, remember that the most dangerous time is right after precipitation begins, as the water can cause oil residue to rise to the top. Be gentle with the brakes and steering to avoid sliding.
In conclusion remember the most important safety gear on the road is your brain, use it well. Make sure you are considerate of other road users and are always vigilant and ready for any unexpected move that a driver or rider can make on the road. Ride safe.