Using a two-wheeler to commute on Indian roads has a charm of its own. A two-wheeler is the only vehicle that can help you cut through the peak-hour traffic in ease. Most individuals prefer this mode of transportation for their daily commute, as they enable you to reach your destination faster and also consume lesser fuel in the process. Additionally, the overall cost of maintenance of a two-wheeler is much lower than that of a larger vehicle.
But the increasing instances of road accidents associated with two-wheelers has contributed to worrisome statistics on the subject of road safety. The level of safety that a two-wheeler provides the rider and the passenger is compromised to an extent, as it is an open vehicle that is relatively low in weight. Hence, even minor collisions may put the riders at high risk for injuries or even death.
Listed below are some safety precautions that one needs to take when riding a bike on Indian roads. These pointers exclude the usual road safety norms, such as the need to wear a helmet, follow traffic rules, service the bike, etc.
- Be Aware of Big Vehicles
- Look Out for Objects Protruding from Vehicles
- Be Aware of Bus Stops
- Keep Away from Old Vehicles
- Stay Away from Rash Driving
- Do Not Stay at the Centre of the Vehicle ahead of You
- Observe the Obstacles on the Road
- Know your Two-Wheeler
- For Long Distances Try Alternate Modes of Travel
- Stay within a Safe Speed
- Stay Attentive at the Signal
Bikes have acquired a tarnished reputation for squeezing into narrow spaces between larger vehicles on the roads. For a bus or a truck driver, it is very distracting to see a two-wheeler getting ahead in bumper-to-bumper traffic situations. Moreover, bigger vehicles need more time and space to make a turn. So it is advisable for a two-wheeler rider to not go too close to a large vehicle negotiating a 90 degree turn. The rear part of the vehicle may hit the bike if it is too close.
Some vehicles on the road carry objects that are longer than the vehicle itself. You would have seen trucks with protruding construction materials, such as wood and iron rods that pose a real danger to the other vehicles plying on the roads. The materials transported can fall off or have an impact with your bike. When you are riding behind such a vehicle, keep a safe distance and be watchful.
You should always be watchful at crowded bus stops. Autos may stop abruptly to drop off passengers there. Buses may also change lanes as they approach a bus stop. These situations could pose various hazards to a two-wheeler rider.
When vehicles are extremely aged, they may have improper brakes, worn-out tyres and rear-view mirrors that are barely there. These vehicles hence, pose a great threat to others on the road. So, you should stay away from aged vehicles to protect yourself and your bike .
Ever so often, you would see drivers who are in a hurry on the roads. They would constantly change lanes, move at high speeds, and blare the horns to get their way. It is optimum to stay away from such drivers and give them way, instead of trying to engage in a race or get in front of them.
You should look to align your bike towards the left or right of the vehicle in front, so that you are clearly visible on the rear-view mirror. Following a big vehicle at high speed is also a dangerous act.
When riding a bike, you should be aware of obstacles such as potholes, loose sand, and debris on the roads. Overspeeding may prevent you from observing the condition of the road. It is important to be attentive, particularly if you are not well-acquainted with the route.
It is crucial to have a good understanding of your vehicle to stay safe on the roads. Different vehicles have varying safety features and stopping distances. If you are not riding your own bike on the road, you have to assess it carefully for the first few kilometres and gauge the particulars.
When you are travelling long distances, it is optimum to utilise public transportation. It may also be more convenient to board a bus when you are travelling in the afternoon or during off-peak hours.
It is not always wise to move at a slow speed, particularly when you are on highways. You should be able to assess the safe speed based on the road conditions, and drive within that limit.
There may be a few rash drivers looking to jump the signal. So you should stay attentive and move towards the side of the road when you are required to wait at a signal.
In addition to the safety precautions that you practise, it is best to be prepared for adversities by insuring your vehicle with a comprehensive two-wheeler insurance. This type of insurance cover protects the bike from damages, and the owner from bodily injuries and even death. The comprehensive policy also includes third-party liability cover that protects against damages incurred by third-party property or life in an accident involving the insured vehicle.