Defensive driving is a term many seasoned motorcyclists are aware of, which they also know is essential not only to their safety, but also for everyone else they meet on the road. For those who are new to the world of motorcycling, and the dangers of the road, this particular term means being alert enough to avoid potentially dangerous situations if and when these occur. This term is used not only on those who are on two-wheeled conveyances, but also those who are in cars, and basically anything that can be found travelling on roads.
Importance of Defensive Driving to Motorists
What you may not be aware of is that, driving defensively is not supposed to be something you turn on and off. You should always drive this way, for your safety and the safety of others on the same road as you. This is to make sure that you do not meet with an accident at all, even when others are not as alert or attentive as you. Safety in motorcycle riding comes with you knowing what you need to do and to be on the road, regardless of what others do.
While you may have the protective clothing needed for motorcycle riding, like vests and jackets made specifically for this endeavour, not having the right mindset while on the road may still open you up to accidents. You have to ensure that you do drive safely and defensively, and there are some ways to do just that.
Driving Defensively: How Do You Do It?
Mishaps between cars and motorcycles often happen mostly due to a car driver’s inability to notice that a motorcycle is on the road as well. This happens in a number of situations that include the following:
- Cars making left turns
- Motorcycles coming up a car’s blind spot
- Obstructions and obstacles on the road that these vehicles have to avoid
- Wet or icy roads and wet or icy weather
- Strong winds that can move or topple a motorcycle into the path of another vehicle
- Low or obscured visibility and conditions
These are just some of the conditions and situations motorcyclists may get in while behind the handlebars of their ride. While everyone should actually practice road safety, it is important that since there is an inherent danger in two-wheeled vehicles, motorcyclists should take extra care to do all they can to ensure their own safety and the safety of others. Some things that can be done include:
- Wearing of jackets and vests that are highly visible – in order to alert other vehicles to your presence, you should make it a point to wear easy-to-spot clothing like jackets that are in hard to miss colours, or vests that have reflective or brightly coloured features like cords, decals, and bandanas.
- Make sure that you learn how to properly handle your motorcycle when you need to make quick turns or stops to avoid collisions and obstacles that suddenly appear in front of you. You can do this by enrolling in driving courses that teach you how to avoid such things.
- When overtaking, extra care should be made since this is when majority of accidents occur. Ensure that the vehicle you are trying to pass is not going to turn right or left while you are trying to overtake it. If it does, you should be alert enough to be able to avoid it. Also, try not to pass a vehicle when roads are too small or tight, and in areas where people coming out of driveways, garages, and the like can suddenly appear in your path.
- Do not speed when you are negotiating bends. Do not increase your speed when you are about to take a bend, since this can lead to you losing control of your vehicle.Also, take note of the road conditions when you are doing this, and to take extra precautions when the road is either wet or icy.
These are just a few things that you need to keep in mind when you and your motorcycle are on the road. As adept you may be at manoeuvring your motorcycle, others may not be as careful as you. You will have to take responsibility for your safety, and for that to happen, defensive driving has to become a must every time you find yourself on your bike and on the road.