Riding a motorcycle is never easy, especially when you are riding a fast bike. Every rider has been tempted to engage in aggressive fast riding.. The worst part of this, is that we know that speeding can – easily – kill you. You play with fire you get burned. But not everything is grey.
Fortunately there are ways to understand when, where and how we get burned.
There are two ways to crash: alone or with “company” meaning, involving others. Most fatalities involve others. Fatal accidents happen due to failure of the driver to see the rider. Other fatal accidents happen due to drivers’ carelessness or lack of alert. Even the best drivers make these mistakes.
Drivers’ Fault? Not always:
But why drivers are so ignorant? Even when they see us bikers they still enter our right-of-way. Why they still do that? Well, there are two main reasons for that. Firstly, there is an unconscious order in our brains to perceive something smaller as less threatening. Therefore, the small size of a bike does not alert the survival instinct of a driver as much as a truck would. Secondly, the narrow frontal area of the bike makes it difficult for the driver to calculate the distance and the speed by which the motorcycle is going. Other vehicles don’t have this problem since their frontal area is bigger thus creating the conditions that allow easier calculation of distance and speed.
What can I do to fix this?
There are a few things you can do to improve your visibility. As you approach the driver you can start moving diagonally across your lane. Like this the driver will be able to see you better and separate you from the background. It also makes it easier for driver to calculate your speed.
What about the motorcyclists who crash alone:
Yes. Nearly half the motorcyclists crash by themselves. This can be due to unexpected hazards or wrong cornering or bike handling in general. Cornering is very important and unfortunately many riders miscalculate how much and at what speed they should lean. Many get panicked, start to break, try to bring the bike up and eventually drop. Don’t treat a road as a racetrack. Sooner or later you will be involved in a very unfortunate event. Instead hit the race track. It’s the best way to dramatically improve your skills while staying safe.
But it’s the bad roads…
Yes, roads are full of debris, holes, cracks etc. Since you know that, you should pay attention to any changes on the road surface. If you notice any, reduce speed, calibrate, adjust, and continue accordingly. Don’t corner on country side or bad surfaced roads. Anything can be found on the road and you will not have the time to react and readjust your lean angle.
It is important to stay focused and mentally prepared. If you often find yourself in dangerous situations where you have to take drastic measures to avoid a dangerous situations, you are probably doing something wrong. Ask your friends for feedback and try to create patterns of your mistakes in order to isolate the reasons you are doing them. For example, if you often corner and you don’t see the road and you find yourself on a last minute call to avoid a fatal danger, then you should probably increase your lean angle in corners with low road visibility. You should also try to improve your cornering skills.
Be aware of your surroundings, act precautionary and don’t ride aggressively. Remember that you are the most vulnerable vehicle on the road. Odds are definitely against you and even the greatest riding heroes die. Don’t be one of them.
Keep riding, stay safe !