Tips for motorcyclists on staying safe on the road

Biker on his motorcycle

If you’re a motorcyclist, there’s no doubt safety should be your top priority when riding on the roads in Scotland and beyond.

Unfortunately, there are over 700 serious motorcycle accidents in Scotland every year and many of which would have been preventable.

According to Brake, 1 in 5 patients attending trauma centres last year were involved in road crashes. Of those 1 in 5, motorcyclists comprise the largest proportion of admissions (20%). 

To avoid injury while riding your bike this summer, perhaps take into account the following common ways motorcycle accidents are likely to occur.

Keep your speed down

Some bikers have a taste for speed. However, speeding is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents and can result in serious injury or death.

Statistics from Brake show that exceeding the speed limit was a factor in 291 crashes in Scotland in 2016, a rise of over a quarter (26%) since 2013.

Travelling too fast for conditions contributed to 510 crashes during 2016.

To stay safe on the road, be aware of the speed limit, as well as the speed of other vehicles around you. Also, drive to road conditions. Wet, winding, or hilly roads are dangerous even under normal conditions. However when combined with excessive speeds, these road conditions can be lethal.

Beware of other traffic

Even the most experienced bikers are not exempt from the incompetence of other road users.

When riding, never assume another driver can see you or can correctly assess your distance or speed.

It is essential to always ride with caution when alongside other drivers who, let’s face it, will not be on the lookout for bikers or who may be distracted.

Finally when changing lanes, always perform your life-saver check first to confirm that other traffic sees you and that the lane is clear.

All too often, we hear of motorcycle accidents where the other driver “just didn’t see me”.

Watch out for poor weather

Riding in bad weather can be dangerous for any vehicle, but especially bikers who are simply more susceptible to unsafe road conditions caused by inclement weather.

Rain and fog can reduce your own visibility as well as the visibility of others on the road. Windy conditions can also make staying upright and riding a challenge.

Let's hope for plenty of warm weather this summer.

Safe riding.