Road safety on two wheels
Being a motorcyclist is a way of life. Only people who are get this feeling. Travelling by motorcycle has innumerable benefits, but also responsibilities and risks when co-existing with the rest of traffic vehicles. Adopting certain precautionary measures is essential during the times you ride a motorbike.
Although we don’t like having to remember these figures, the risk of dying in a motorcycle accident is 17 times greater than if you travel by car. 75% of motorcycle accident deaths are on roads. So at Beebiker we wanted to prepare this article to give out some recommendations on road safety issues.
At Beebiker, we completely check the motorcycle before renting it out and of course, we perform the maintenance on the dates indicated and at the BMW workshops.
Basic road safety issues
In terms of road safety, we have to pay special attention to moving traffic, both that of ourselves and the vehicles driving near us. Here we share 10 recommendations that you must take into account when riding a motorcycle:
- Using a helmet and safety clothing is essential when getting on a bike. They protect against burns, hits, scrapes or other injuries, so you should never start up your motor without having suited up beforehand.
- Always pay attention to the road, even if it is your usual route. The greatest number of accidents occur during everyday journeys. When we think we know the way, we tend to lower our guard and on occasions, distractions can cause an accident.
- Check the rear-view mirrors correctly before starting your journey in order to have as much visual field as possible. Seeing and being seen is a golden rule when you ride a motorcycle.
- Keeping a safe distance is mandatory in any vehicle, but on a motorcycle it is critical, since braking when you go on two wheels is more dangerous, especially if the pavement is slippery.
- Before any crossing, you must look both ways by turning your head. Peripheral vision is crucial for detecting possible dangers in time. As Santi Ferrer said, “never trust 4-way stop intersections or the traffic lights in green. Reduce your speed to control the situation. On more than one occasion I’ve been frightened by people who do not respect the traffic lights”
- Never pass on the right. The rules of the road must apply to all vehicles, and the motorcycle is one of them. Other vehicles may change lanes without noticing our presence and we could have an accident.
- Avoid travelling between two vehicles, and if you do so, then when they’re stopped or moving at low speed. It is dangerous driving and you could be fined for not respecting distances between vehicles.
- Adjust your driving to weather conditions, especially in the case of rain or snow, since the asphalt can be slippery, so reduce your speed and increase the safety distance.
- Don’t trust curves, due to their design we can sometimes find sand, road paint in bad condition, spilled irrigation water or diesel oil from a truck, and all this can make us lose control. Also, don’t lose sight of the cars around you, since sometimes they won’t follow the traffic rules in the roundabouts.
- Maintain good pressure in the tyres, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Incorrect pressure can affect the grip of the motorcycle on the road.Pay special attention to small “traps” that you might find on the road, such as signage paint, sewer covers, defects in the asphalt, curbs or lane separators.
- Never drive if you’ve taken medication that directly affects your ability to react or causes drowsiness. Jorge Ibanez tells us that “I was taking an allergy medication, it left me a little lethargic but I didn’t give it any importance, until I got on the bike and when an animal crossed the road I wasn’t able to react in time and I lost control of the bike.”
- Always use both brakes when you want to stop the motorcycle. The front brake carries 70% of the braking force, compared to 30% of the rear wheel. Using both at the same time, you prevent the bike from skidding and losing control.
Regarding road safety, not only do we have to focus on our way of driving or the state of the roads, but we must also pay special attention to the condition of our motorcycle and be aware of any new thing that comes onto the market, to help us ride in a safer way.
- Stability control. It supports the driver in braking, acceleration and curves giving greater stability. All our bikes come equipped with this safety element.
- Antilock brakes, or ABS. Do not let the wheels lock in case of a sudden braking, avoiding a skid and loss of grip with the asphalt. All our bikes come equipped with this safety element.
- Periodically check the condition of the brakes, tyres or oil level. With good maintenance of our motorcycle, we can avoid many unforeseen events. We check them on all rentals.
- Emergency button. From 2018, all vehicles and light trucks must have installed an emergency button, which by pressing automatically calls out an emergency, indicating the location, sending out emergency attention. In fact, our BMW motorcycles have an emergency button, the “smart emergency call” button (ECALL) allows you to receive help immediately in the event of an accident. The ECALL automatically contacts the BMW service centre in the event of an accident to activate a rescue operation as quickly as possible and, if possible, establish initial contact with you. The system can also be activated manually. Undoubtedly, with this button the emergency services will arrive faster to the location of the accident.
- Maintain good pressure in the tyres, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Incorrect pressure can affect the grip of the motorcycle on the road.
At Beebiker we want you to enjoy your experience to the fullest, so we ask you to read these recommendations carefully and put them into practice, because it’s not only your safety, but also that of the drivers of other vehicles.