Many drivers forget that motorcycles are vehicles that enjoy the same privileges and rights as any other vehicle on the roadway. Safety is always a major issue with any vehicle, but is paramount to the motorbike rider. Motorbike riders face additional dangers on the roads.
Unlike car drivers, motorcyclists have a unique set of hazards. Because the motorcyclist is virtually unprotected by the metal encasing of a car, the injuries and damage sustained by a simple crash can be catastrophic. This is why car drivers should always bear in mind that driving with extra care around motorcycles can be a matter of life or death.
As a motorcyclist, the criteria to obtain a licence to drive are pretty stringent. Once a motorbike rider passes the licence test, he or she is put on a sort of probation for two years, which allows the rider to become acclimatised to their new vehicle. If the rider accumulates six or more points on the licence, it reverts to a learner licence and the rider is required to start again from the beginning.
Having a motorcycle licence means that riders must always remain vigilant. It is important to remember to be better than the car drivers on the same roads. This is a challenge, but possible. Here are some things motorcyclists must remember in order to stay as safe as possible:
• Pay attention and anticipate the actions of other motorists.
• Remain alert and observant.
• Travel at responsible speeds, which allow proper stopping distances and response times.
• The middle lane is best for motorbikes since cars are more apt to see them.
• Always watch for hazards while passing other vehicles.
• Never change lanes or make a turn without looking.
Safety is at the core of motorcycle riding, and the colour of the helmet is integral. There is no law requiring any particular colour, but riders must use common sense. Black may be cool, but fluorescent, bright colours will be noticed. The more reflective the helmet, the more notice it will attract. Riders should also weatherproof the helmet, not for comfort, but to aid concentration and remain focused on the road.
It is recommended that all motorcyclists be proactive in their safety. While it is not required to take additional motorcycle safety courses after a licence has been issued, it can help to keep riders aware of the dangers present on the roads. Additionally, some car insurance companies will give discounts on cover for motorbike riders who keep up to date in safety courses.