Three Most Important Safety Precautions While Travelling On a Motorcycle
According to the government website Think, motorcycles represent just one per cent of traffic on our roads, yet this small percentage makes up 20% of the UK's serious injuries and deaths through traffic accidents. There are several obvious reasons why motorcycle travel is relatively dangerous, including high-speed, high-power and rapid acceleration.
Yet this does not necessarily mean motorcycles are more dangerous than cars, simply that they're often exposed to greater risks. Identifying and addressing these risks is essential to staying safe on the road and here are the three most important precautions you should take.
(1) Crash helmets
Around 80% of motorcyclists who are killed on the roads die from serious head injuries so it is fairly obvious that the crash helmet is the most important piece of protective gear a motorcyclist can buy. Other protective gear is also important, such as high-tech Kevlar body armour and footwear, but helmets should be a priority.
One reason for the reduced death rate on motorbikes in the UK in recent years may be partly due to the helmet testing scheme known as Sharp. The department of transport found big differences in the motorcycle helmets on the market and set up Sharp in 2007 to test all helmets using a universal system.
The helmet's fit is also of vital importance and good crash helmet suppliers make sure you go away with a properly fitting helmet. Failure to wear a helmet correctly may result in problems if you were to lodge a motorcycle accident claim following a collision.
(2) Hi-visibility clothing and lights
According to the government site, 48% of all accidents between motorcycles and other vehicles have been caused because the driver of the other vehicle failed to see the motorcyclist. It is therefore of paramount importance that a motorcyclist does everything possible to stand out on the road.
One of the cheapest and best solutions is to wear a high visibility vest. Other items such as strobe lights, reflectors on boots and lights on helmets may be incorporated into the riding gear. Put simply, the more visible the motorcyclist is, the safer they will be on the road.
Of course, safety gear is not the only thing which can improve your safety on the road as a motorcyclist – how you ride is also important. Like with any vehicle, speed can be dangerous when used incorrectly, so it is vital that you always drive at the speed appropriate for the roads and conditions you are facing.
Remember that a speed limit is just that – a limit, not a target. If the conditions of the road or weather make the speed limit unsuitable, then lower your speed as necessary. After all, it's better to take your time and get where you need to be in one piece, than to rush and end up in hospital!
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