If you have read some of my other articles, you will know that I had a motorcycle accident on the way to my first day at Bikebiz.
I do not remember the accident.
What the evidence shows, is that a guy with an overfilled trailer, didn’t check his blond spot and merged into my lane. Instead of going up the ass of the trailer, I swerved and clipped his trailer left taillight, causing me to come down on my right side, breaking my collar bone and hitting my head on the road. Keep in mind, I was a complete newbie. I knew nothing about motorcycles and not much about riding them.
Could this accident have been avoided? Only going back in a time machine could tell me. Maybe I did the best I could in the situation.
What I can say, is that defensive riding can assist in making accidents less damaging or avoiding them all together!
Crashing on the track is one thing, crashing on the road is another
What is Defensive Riding?
Defensive Riding is riding to save time, money and lives by avoiding situations that may cost any of the prementioned items.
In plain English? Riding like everyone is out to run you over!
Will the car in front of my suddenly hit their brakes to avoid a leaf? Can the truck in front of me even see me in his mirrors, or am I in his blind spot? Will the driver next to me suddenly change lanes? Do I see a car near me that is driving erratically, changing lanes without a moment thought and going 20km/h over the speed limit? Will that car pull out in front of me?
These are all thoughts that run through my head when I’m out riding. Ever since I got back on the bike, I ride like every car is a threat. Not just cars and trucks, but oil patches, shifts in the roads surface, high winds and potential debris. The main reason I lane filter? Is to get ahead of all the cars so I know they will be less of a threat when they are behind me.
Where would you start to brake in this situation?
If the cars are ahead of me, I’m a lot safer.
Now I know that this is a lot to think about, and some of you newbies may be freaking out right now! No stress here. These are things that become 2nd nature to me. As time going on and your riding improves, you won’t have to think about these things, you’ll just know what to instinctively keep an eye out for. Even when you are in a car, you should be thinking of these things. If you are a passenger, use this time to notice what’s going on the road. I know parents who play Spotto with their kids, but with motorcycles!
Apart from time, practice and childhood training, you can gain these skills by taking some riding courses. All you need to do I Google defensive riding courses, and several will come up. Other riders will have different ways of thinking that may be better (or worse) ways to approach riding situations. Gather all of this information and work out what works best for you.
Ride safe and have a good one!
Got questions? Send me an email at [email protected]