Ride smarter this year: GEM calls for motorcycle skills boost
ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is keen to ensure motorcyclists put safety first on rides this season. Central to this, according to GEM, is a focus on rider skill.
There were 5,558 serious accidents involving motorcyclists in 2014. In all, 339 motorcyclists were killed in reported road accidents – an increase of 2.4% on 2013. Additionally, 5,289 riders were seriously injured, an increase of 8.7% on 2013, and the highest level since 2009. The majority of motorcycling collisions occurred at junctions.
GEM chief executive David Williams MBE comments: “There’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained from riding a motorcycle with skill and precision. That’s why we’re encouraging riders to give themselves a ‘skills MOT’ at the start of this season; this will help ensure they reduce the risks they face on journeys.”
Follow GEM’s five simple ‘lifesaver’ safety tips and reduce the risk of being involved in a collision:
- If you’ve had your bike in the garage for the winter, use the start of the riding season to invest in a refresher day with a training professional. Search online for motorcycle training days or consult your local club or advanced motorcyclists’ group.
- Make sure you take time to warm up, especially if you are not a regular rider and not ‘bike fit’.
- Ensure self-preservation is your priority. The predominant cause of motorcycle crashes is the failure of car drivers to detect and recognise motorcycles in traffic. So wear high visibility clothing on all journeys, and ride in a way that gives others a better chance of seeing you.
- Don’t ride beyond your comfort zone, especially if you’re riding in a group. If your friends are cornering too quickly for you, let them go and join them at the next junction.
- Try not to dwell on your errors as you go along. Plan 10 to 15 seconds ahead, anticipate the next hazards. When you stop for a break, reflect on anything that didn’t go to plan, ask what you have learnt and how you can reduce the chance of the same thing happening again.
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