Hazardous Situations for Motorcycle Riding: New Bikers
The open road, the wind against your face, and a free-as-a-breeze attitude are exhilarating feelings when riding a motorcycle, but there are situations where these feelings can lead to dangerous situations.
Cars Changing Lanes
Whether navigating the congestion on city streets, or maintaining a steady speed on the interstate, danger is always lurking when changing lanes. Even though many new vehicles are equipped with blind spot monitoring to aid drivers, many cars do not have this technology. With or without driver aids, changing lanes is a frequent occurrence for car drivers and can lead to deadly accidents for motorcyclists. Staying alert, paying attention to the vehicles around you, and not getting distracted is your first line of defense. Watch for vehicles that are drifting into the other lane and keep an eye on drivers consistently weaving in and out of traffic.
Traction is key for the bike’s tires to grip the road, and the same holds true for cars and trucks. When the road is smooth, clear, and in good condition, navigating is straightforward. While assorted types of debris on the road (twigs, sticks, pieces of rubber from blown tires, etc.) can be problematic, one of the most dangerous items is gravel. Hitting a finely scattered layer of gravel can easily result in your bike’s tires immediately losing their grip, making it next to impossible for you to recover control, which leads to an accident.
Need for Speed
One of the thrills of riding a motorcycle on the open road is opening up the throttle and cruising at high speed. It’s an exhilarating experience but for new riders who haven’t reached veteran status for road negotiation, it can be especially dangerous when you’re faced with an unexpected corner to turn. There are techniques for taking corners at certain speeds, and it’s best to practice and perfect these skills to help prevent knee-jerk reactions that could cause a fall or slide if you take a corner too fast.
You may think there’s an element of safety with oncoming traffic since you can see where these cars are headed. When they’re coming toward you, that is a dangerous situation and one that happens all too often. There are many reasons a vehicle can find its way across the line, aimed directly at you. Eating or drinking while driving, drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, falling asleep behind the wheel, or a driver who is distracted or daydreaming can lead to vehicles drifting into your space. Stay alert and keep an eye on traffic both on your side of the road as well as those coming from the opposite direction.
Vehicles Behind You
Vehicles behind you – whether you’re riding in moving traffic, negotiating slow-moving traffic, or sitting at a stoplight – pose more potentially dangerous situations. It could be a distracted driver talking or texting on a device, changing dials and controls on the radio, or looking at themselves in the mirror. Whatever the reason, it’s up to you to be as aware as possible. A slam in the back of your bike makes a negative impact even if you’re wearing protective gear.
The best advice for new riders: stay alert any time you’re ready to roll.
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