The most common accidents that we bikers get involved in are collisions at junctions, collisions while overtaking, loss of control, either from a shunt or, and, surprise, surprise, failing to get round a bend.
The key to minimizing the risk of any of these happening is anticipation, whether that’s reading the road ahead or another road users’ intentions, if you can react in plenty of time to prospective hazards you should keep out of trouble.
So, when you’re out in the countryside always look for clues to the way a bend is going to run, whether that’s a line of trees, telegraph poles or the hedges.
If you’re heading along a busy urban street, cars pulling out are your prime danger, so look for signs that they are going to move, like the driver’s hands moving on the steering wheel, the wheels starting to move, or an oncoming vehicle flashing to let someone pull out on you.
Shunts happen when you don’t leave enough room between you and the vehicle in front, so work on your road positioning and get to know how well your bike’s brakes work so you can always stop in the distance you can see to be clear.
With just two small tyre contact patches we have got to have lots of respect for the road surfaces. Poor weather, diesel spills, manholes, mud and painted road surfaces can all catch us out.
So, look for clues like harvesting or ploughing going on, a bus station with lots of diesel-laden coaches turning in and out of, or back clouds ahead and oncoming vehicles with headlights blazing.
This is all part of a lifetime of learning these new skills, which will give you a great deal of satisfaction, and keep you safe.
For more information go to: http://www.rospa.com/roadsafety/info/ridesafe.pdf