Latest government statistics show that motorcycles are the vehicle types registering the biggest growth rate of an average 4.3% annually in the last five years in Australia. There is every indication that this sales pattern is exhibited worldwide, denoting a trend that more people are falling in love with motorcycles.
However, this positive marketing development goes against the results of a study conducted by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau identifying the risks of motorcycle rider deaths at 30 times more than drivers of passenger vehicles.
Why People Like Motorcycles
The reasons why people buy motorcycles vary: not as expensive as a car; it’s cool to ride your own; can fit more motorcycles in one garage; economical to operate; easy to park; fast ride to destination; air-cooled and pure passion. Yet, for all these reasons cited, none can equate in value to the high risk of death to ignore it as a reason for not buying a motorcycle.
Causes of Accidents
Studies show that the leading cause of motorcycle accidents is the failure of motorists (the drivers of other vehicles) to recognise, notice or detect the presence of a motorcycle on the road. This failure to detect can pertain to a motorcycle which is in front, behind, on the left side or on the right side of a motorist’s vehicle. Even if this cause is attributable to the motorists, it does not mean it is not our concern. It is our major concern, because we, the motorcycle riders, are the ones aggrieved in case of an accident.
The way to prevent this is by intensive motorists’ education. Motorists have not been programmed to look out for motorcycles but for other vehicles. However, they must be conditioned to accept the presence of motorcycles on the road. But we, as motorcycle riders, must also have the proper rider education about motorists’ ways and road behaviour. By knowing how they behave on the road, we can then train ourselves to ensure we are always on the look out to prevent a collision from happening.
Sudden Right Turn
For example, the most frequent of these non-detection accidents involves the other vehicle in front moving in the opposite direction. Most motorists could not estimate our speed nor our intention when approaching an intersection. A car driver may suddenly decide to turn to his right without giving us enough notice such that instantly we find him directly in our path. If we cannot swerve safely or brake on time, we can be a casualty.
The other three situations call for understanding of how an accident may occur when we are behind cars, or moving to their left or to their right. When behind, we must observe some distance so that when the car driver in front of us makes a sudden brake, we can brake enough so as not to smash into his rear windshield. We must also avoid moving parallel to a car, whether to the left or to the right, because in most likelihood we are not in the driver’s field of view.
Some Suggestions to Avoid Accidents
These are just some examples of situations that can bring about an accident situation. In most of these accident situations, life and limbs might be saved if there was only common sense and a little bit of courtesy for the other vehicle. Here are some other suggestions to keep the motorcycle safe:
1. Learn to ride. Most motorcycle riders venture onto the road without the necessary training. Riders must attend the correct Motorcycle RiderTraining course to become familiar with how to use your motorbike properly, plus road rules.
2. Use safety gears. There is nothing safer than wearing the right helmet. This has saved many a life. Also, wear a jacket, gloves, thick trousers and the correct riding shoes.
3. Insure yourself. Protect yourself, more than your motorbike. Your bike is replaceable; you are not.
4. Get a licence. It is mandatory to have a licence. You cannot ride a motorcycle without a licence. You cannot get a licence without passing the test.
5. Get a registration. Register your motorcycle so that you can have a plate attached at the rear of the riders’ seat.
6. Don’t speed-race when you are riding. Value your life and the lives of others.
If we recognise that motorcycle riding carries a potential death risk of as much as 30 times the risk for car drivers and we value our lives, we are already aware of the risks and should naturally make the correct steps towards protecting ourselves.
Ridetek MTA is a motorcycle training academy based in Victoria Australia and is accredited to issue permits and licenses in the state. At Ridetek, your utmost safety is of paramount importance to us and we ensure that you are safe even after completing your training.
For consultations, please call us at 1300 788 382.