LONDON, England – A British road-safety and breakdown organisation is keen to reduce motorcycle casualties during the northern summer (though that covers South African riders who can pretty much ride year-round).
Central, according to GEM, riders should focus on improving their road skills and knowing their limits. Equally, the safety crew wants other road users to improve their road observation to be aware of the not-so-visible motorcycles.
About 350 Brit bikers dies through 2017 (most recent statistics), almost 10% up on the previous year.
”Bearing in mind that motorcyclists make up less than three percent of vehicles on UK roads,” GEM says, ”the disproportionately death toll shows how risky motorcycling can be.”
GEM’s road safety officer Neil Worth told The Corner: “There’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained from riding a motorcycle with skill and precision but if you’re riding at speed there is no margin for error if something goes wrong.
“That’s why we’re not only encouraging riders to give themselves a ‘skills MOT’ every year but also urging drivers and pedestrians to watch for motorcyclists, especially at junctions.
TAKE THESE TIPS
”After all, about 30 riders are killed or injured every day.”
Being positive, GEM has compiled five simple, but potentially life-saving, tips to reduce the odds of a collision:
IF YOUR BIKE has been the garage for the (northern) winter use the start of the riding season to invest in a refresher day with a training professional. Search online for motorcycle training days or consult your local club or advanced motorcyclists’ group.
MAKE SURE YOU take time to warm up, especially if you are not a regular rider and not ”bike fit”.
SELF-PRESERVATION should be every rider’s priority. The predominant cause of motorcycle crashes is the failure of car drivers to detect and recognise motorcycles in traffic. So, wear high visibility clothing, and ride in a way that gives others a better chance of seeing you.
DON’T RIDE BEYOND your comfort zone, especially if riding in a group. If your friends are cornering too quickly for you, let them go and catch up at the next junction. Don’t dwell on your errors as go along; plan 10-15sec ahead, anticipate hazards. When you stop for a break reflect on anything that didn’t go to plan, ask what you have learned, and think how you can reduce the chance of the same thing happening again.
FINALLY, GEM IS asking all road-users to keep a watch for motorcyclists. Neil Worth again: “The roads belong to all of us so expect to see motorcycles on a journey. It might seem to be an obvious step but has significant potential to reduce motorcyclists’ injuries.”