How to avoid becoming a statistic on a motorcycle

Let’s try and be sensible for a moment, us bikers sometimes need to put our bravado to one side and place our sensibility back in our helmets for a moment, whilst we discuss what is sadly becoming a Contentious issue.

The sun is out and many of us motorcycle riders will dust off our leathers and fasten our Helmets for the first time in many months. The open road beckons, it begs us to join in the fun and thrill of riding our machines and often at full throttle without giving a shit about the consequences.
For some reason, we seem to discard any reference to the fact we have a girlfriend, wife, boyfriend, husband or children waiting for our safe return home after our adrenalin fuelled blast through our local area and sadly, very sadly, more riders are becoming fatalities due to ignorance or lack of knowledge
Most motorcycle accidents can be avoided and I say this with an open heart, many are unfortunately the riders fault, too fast, too many risks, not familiar with bike, or just been a complete cock where riding etiquette is concerned
This is not a way of preaching to the masses, if it helps one rider stay alive today then it’s been worthwhile, as for the other riders that react by saying “fuck off mate I’ll ride like a c**t and still get home for the barbq and beers” then that’s your prerogative, your choice, your life, your family, who will be standing over your coffin, wishing you were enjoying a nice cold beer and a burger instead of saying their goodbyes.
If there is one thing you take from this article, it will be the subconscious understanding that what is about to be said, will make sense and may implant into the back of some riders minds, even when they are performing an overtake at 90+mph leading up to a blind junction with George and Audrey sat in their car listening to the Archers on the radio without a care in the world, waiting to pull out into the flow of traffic, they can’t see you because their eye sight is poor, they are 75 years old and reaction times are significantly reduced to that of perhaps a middle aged driver. They won’t see you coming down the road because they focusing on the line of traffic.
Our brains work in mysterious ways, when you look up and down a street your brain only captures images and then processes them, which is why we have SMIDSY, (Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You)  many drivers of vehicles involved in motorcycle accidents genuinely admit they didn’t see the biker, because a) they’re not looking out for one b) their brain does not have time to see the rider, ideally we need to look twice, once to scan, two to evaluate and assess. This applies also to bikers!
Here are 5 things you should avoid to stay alive today. It’s advice and you can stick two fingers up at it if you wish but it works! 
1) Never overtake on or on approach to a junction. This accounts for more motorcycle fatalities than any other accident.
2) Filtering is perfectly fine, but for fucks sake, slow the hell down, filtering at 60mph, seriously! If traffic is built up, be prepared for an impatient driver to pull out and do a U-Turn. Early signs to look for are, movement in the wheel, vehicle moving into the verge without acknowledging you in their mirror
3) Scan side roads and driveways for movement, scan along hedgerows for cars, lorries, tractors approaching an upcoming junction with poor visibility
4) Go easy on roundabouts near petrol stations, it is often where inconsiderate lorry drivers will dump all the excess fuel they put in filling their tank to the brim.
5) Slow down in built up areas and keep scanning as far ahead as you can see. You can learn a lot from a driver up ahead but bugger all looking down at your front wheel!!
Ride safe people. Please, don’t become a statistic today.

About Author

client-photo-1
Chris Seagal
Motorcycle tours guide and explorer. RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle Instructor (Gold)

Comments

Sean broom
09/04/2017
Well said
Adrian Rowe
09/04/2017
Perfect sence.
Peter
09/04/2017
Common sense prevails with this issue....
Phil
09/04/2017
Ride safe to ride another day.
Stuart Lothian
10/04/2017
A great piece of advice and well written. Interestingly I used to fly light aircraft, and I think the skill sets are very similar to that of riding bikes, only you tend to have more focus when you think you might "fall out the sky", it's a pity some riders don't have that "fear", already being on the ground to devastating consequences. It takes a great deal of skill to ride, but focus and respect to do it well.... all the time.
Neil
10/04/2017
Well said,good sound advice to all the bike community. My name is Neil, I lived on my bike. I was talk to ride buy a good friend and a good Rider. I classed myself as a good rider. But over the year's I become complacent and aloud my confidence in high speeds riding and more and more risk taking to cloud the simple safety steps the I'd learnt and on one sunny July day 4 year's ago the risks I took over took me. When I overtook a car at high speed approaching a bend and misjudged the distance and hit a Land Rover head on. I now live my life in a wheelchair and pain for the rest of my life I'm a lucky one as I am still alive and didn't kill anone! . It happens so fast you never see it coming and it's to late when you do realise. I miss ridding ever day always will. Guys and gals enjoy the summer and have amazing fun on your bike as I'm shore you will. Ride as hard as you like always to your own ability and keep your brain active and sharp and see danger long before it sees you.RIDE SAFE AND RETURN HOME SAFE.TAKE CARE ALL. DON'T LOSE YOUR LIFE WITH A RISK TO FAR.
Robert
11/04/2017
Good honest appraisal of whta is a damn dangerous sport, well said and I can tell heartfelt.
14/04/2017
I would agree with what Chris has written, but add that riding quickly in rural areas can also catch us bikers out with "own goals". Whether we ride 365/24/7 or during a few "summer months" we have to be "bike fit" - know our own limitations and of our machine. Not just in built up areas, scan ahead as far as one can see, use observational links to attempt to anticipate what might be ahead church spires (a village, possible lower s/limit, pedestrians, more potential hazards) a collection of lamp standards (a possible roundabout / large junction), use the "limit point/vanishing point) to assess bends/corners & enjoy our riding as riding our bikes is great

Leave a Reply