Summer Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

The warm weather is definitely on its way and the barbeques are now out for the duration. It’s not just the barbeques and deck chairs that are receiving a good old clean though, this glimpse of bright, dry weather is great news for motorcyclists who want to make the most of the British summer.

People who ride a motorbike purely for enjoyment will generally be getting itchy fingers right about now because their bikes have been locked away, and they’ve been unable to ride, for the majority of the winter. People who use their bikes regularly and even use them to complete their commute have had months of being pelted with rain and snow, so having a few nice bank holiday weekends has made them hopeful for a scorching summer that won’t disappoint.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the slippery, wet roads of winter will be far more dangerous for motorcyclists than the dry roads that hot weather brings. However, this isn’t the case and actually it’s the warmer weather that tends to see the most motorbike accidents.

2012 statistics show that motorcyclists made up 1% of road traffic at that time. However, motorcyclist deaths accounted for 19% of all fatalities on Britain’s roads. Motorcyclists ride because it’s fun and exhilarating and the risk involved keeps them coming back for more. However, the proportion of road deaths that they represent is far too high considering their minute presence on British roads.

So, in order to prevent yourself becoming another nasty statistic, here are some top tips for staying safe on the roads this summer.

Practice makes perfect

If it’s a while since you’ve ridden, consider taking some refresher lessons to ensure you’re familiar with the road and your bike before you take off on a wild summer journey. Even just a couple of hours with an instructor can bring your confidence back and provide you with some essential skills that will help make sure you return home in one piece.

Don’t share lanes

Although you’re likely to be sharing the summer experience with your mates, on an unforgettable road trip, you should never share road lanes. Road lanes are intended for single file traffic and even though you’re on two wheels not four it’s still not safe to be side by side in a lane. If something were to happen to your bike or theirs, you’ll have no time to think and you’re both likely to be involved in an accident. When it comes to road safety, sharing is really not caring.

Safety first

It might be over twenty degrees outside but safety is still important so a helmet and full safety gear should be worn at all times. If you’re travelling on country roads then you’re likely to be tempted to take off your helmet or leave your safety gear at home so that you can keep cool in your shorts and t-shirt. However, this won’t help you if the worst were to happen.

Shade

If you’re planning a long journey on a hot day then try and avoid open roads and motorways. These roads tend to be unprotected and have a serious lack of shade. Although it could take slightly longer, altering your route and accommodating some country stretches – that are generally lined with trees – on your journey will provide you with shade that will help keep you cool. Keeping cool is essential if you want to stay awake and alert enough to maintain your safety.

Bike inspection

Finally, if this is the first time you’ll be heading out after a winter of your bike being locked indoors, then it’s really important to check it before you ride. Don’t forget that you’re not the only rider out there; all keen motorcyclists will be preparing their bikes for their first trip out so it’s important to make sure your bike is sae and not likely to put anyone else into any danger. Take a look at the wheels and tyres; lights and controls; the stand and oil and other engine fluids and make sure everything’s as it should be before you ride.

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