Back in the 1990s, things were looking pretty grim for motorcyclists. There were loads of accidents and people were being put off it because it was considered to be so unsafe. Parents told their children never to get involved in it, further eroding its appeal.
But then better technology came along and things changed. According to data from www.mirror.co.uk, motorbike accidents are now 40 percent lower than they were between 1995 and 2005. Many motorbikes came equipped with anti-lock brakes as well as warning lights telling cyclists if they were cornering too fast. Some improvements in safety have also come from the way that motorcyclists ride.
Now kids want to get into motorbiking, and you may be asked, as a dad, to be a part of it. Here’s what you should tell your kids to stay safe out there.
Wear High Visibility Clothing
One of the main issues on the road, especially in the winter, is visibility. People are trained to see cars on the road, since these are the most common things that they come across. They’re also big and obvious, another advantage of being seen.
But motorbikes don’t have this luxury. People, in general, aren’t used to seeing them all that often, and because they’re smaller, they’re less likely to appreciate the speed with which they are approaching. This means that people will often pull out in front of motorcyclists even though it isn’t safe to do so.
A way to combat this is to wear high-visibility clothing. High-visibility clothing reduces the chance of not being seen. It also makes you a lot more visible just in case there is an accident, and you get knocked off your bike.
Wear Safety Equipment
Biker safety equipment, especially clothing is essential for protecting your body and keeping you safe. Sites like bikersbasics.com describe all the equipment that you’ll need on your first ride and what you should be looking for. Bikers need everything from a quality helmet to goggles, shoes and body armour.
Many motorcyclists who are new to riding think that they can act like they would in a car. But just because you have right of way, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are safe. Again, when you’re riding a motorbike, you’re less likely to be seen and, as a result, there’s a good chance that a car will pull out in front of you at the last minute.
It’s best, therefore to ride defensively, making sure that you’re waiting at intersections and checking that you’ve been noticed by other road users. Avoid doing things like forcing your way into traffic and keep a lookout for possible risks, like a driver not seeing you in their side mirror.
Watch The Weather
Weather conditions dramatically affect the amount of grip a motorbike has in the corners. Road surfaces can get very slippery in the rain or when there has been a cold snap. Road markings and cat’s eyes can be especially slippery when wet, increasing the chance you’ll be thrown off your bike. Pro tip: corner slowly in poor weather conditions.