Motorcyclists to use their experience wisely on summer rides

Posted on April 23rd, 2015 by GEM Motoring Assist

ROAD SAFETY AND breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging all motorcyclists to make safety their priority on every ride this summer.

GEM chief executive David Williams MBE said: “The vast majority of motorcyclists are highly skilled and experienced road users who have undergone extensive training to enjoy the privilege of riding a powerful machine on the public road.

“But having this experience is not the same as using it. That’s why we’re calling on motorcyclists to put safety first and reduce their risk when they’re out enjoying a ride this summer.

“Motorcyclists are used to anticipating the actions of other road users – it’s a key part of their training and vital for their safety. So we want to make sure they use their skills, commit to a defensive style of riding on every journey and remember that there are sure to be loved ones waiting for them to come home safe at the end of the day.”

In an attempt to boost safety and mutual respect, GEM has compiled a selection of simple safety tips for motorcyclists and other road users:

For riders:
• A positive, defensive attitude is at the heart of safe riding. Make sure you’re fit and alert before setting off.
• Choose your speeds wisely. Never exceed the speed limit, but also consider the weather and the traffic levels as well as your own mood and boundaries.
• Fight complacency on every ride. Maintain your mental and physical skills, practise slow manoeuvres and refresh your Highway Code knowledge.
• Taking time to share your experiences with other riders is a great way of learning.
• Be pleasant and forgiving to other road users. After all, we all make mistakes.

For other road users:
• Use your mirrors frequently, so you don’t get taken by surprise if a fast bike is suddenly right behind you or even overtaking you.
• If you’re following a motorcycle, it’s a good idea to implement the ‘4-second rule’. In other words, keep four seconds behind the motorcyclist so you have plenty of time and space to react if anything happens ahead.
• Signal early to give a motorcyclist time to react and re-position.
• Give a rider extra space in adverse weather.
• Be pleasant and forgiving to motorcyclists. After all, we all make mistakes.

In 2013, 331 motorcyclists lost their lives on the UK’s roads, and a further 4,866 sustained life-changing injuries. Studies show that motorcyclists are 38 times more likely to be killed in a road collision than a car occupant.