Motorcycles are quite common in Sri Lanka. In fact, as of October 2014, the Sunday Times reported that they nearly 20,000 new motorcycles were registered between January and October 2014 . However, they are far more susceptible to get involved in vehicle accidents. On that note, we’d like to provide 10 safety tips for all you motorcycle drivers.
1. Wear a helmet: As we have mentioned earlier, not wearing a helmet is pretty dangerous. Although the situation is still iffy, the court of appeal has allowed individuals to wear helmets until July 2nd.
2. Watch your speed: Don’t speed. Not only is it against the law, the consequences can be far more deadly for a motorcyclist. Travel at a moderate pace, so that you can stop when you need to and always remember to go slow when turning your vehicle.
3. Wear bright clothing: If you can afford to invest in reflective material, go for it. Otherwise, wear bright coloured clothes when you can. In the same way, pick out a helmet which stands out. A lot of motorists often complain that they don’t see motorbikes, so ensure that you stay visible.
TIP: Avoid wearing shorts or jeans: they provide little protection in the event of a crash. Invest in a decent rain repellent jacket which is breathable and sturdy pants.
4. Look for obstacles: Simple obstacles like potholes often are a little more than an annoyance to most motorists. However, it can be a death trap for motorcyclists. Keep an eye out for sand, slippery roads, and oil spills as they can cause you to lose control of your motorcycle.
5. Look before you move: When you’re drifting into another lane or overtaking a vehicle, ensure that you look. The want to make sure that no other vehicles are in your way which could cause you serious injury.
6. Dont drive when you are tired: As we have suggested before, driving when you’re tired is very dangerous. Whenever possible, don’t drive tired because your reflex need to be much sharper when you’re travelling on a motorcycle. Speaking of reflexes, don’t have mobile phones or speakers on you when riding, as this significantly increases the chances of you getting into an accident.
7. Assume the worst, hope for the best: Experienced motorcyclists often suggest that its best to be prepared for everything. We’re not trying to make you paranoid, but expect the car in front of you to stop immediately, turn suddenly or open a door when stationary. Anticipate potential hazards and react swiftly.
8. Leave enough space between vehicles: Ensure that you leave sufficient stopping distance. Yes, while bikes need less space to stop, it’s always better to give yourself more room than to be sorry. Leave even more space when its raining.
9. Watch your passengers: As a driver, it is your responsibility to take your passenger safe and sound. Don’t give them a broken helmet, and be sure to drive extra carefully as the additional weight will limit your ability to move swiftly and manage tight corners.
10. Don’t wear slippers: Always wear shoes which give you a good grip. Yes, it may be hot and more uncomfortable. However, if you are wearing sandals or slippers, chances are that they can slip off. This is quite dangerous. Furthermore, shoes let you shift gears with little discomfort and ensures that your feet don’t get burnt.
Have any more tips to add to this list? Write them in our comments section. Until then, safe driving!
Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.