Two-wheelers on the road are cursed by four wheeler drivers every day because they always seem to be cutting ahead, riding on the pavements and getting home so much faster than their four-wheeled brothers. Sure there are reasons to be jealous, but two-wheelers are much more at risk on the road. Chances are everyone you know who rides a two-wheeler has gotten into at least one accident in their years on the road. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you are contemplating picking up a bike for easier commute:
- Protect yourself:
Invest in a good helmet. A lot of deaths happen due to injuries to the head. People have narrowly escaped death because of the smart decision to wear helmets. You should get yourself a sturdy helmet which covers the jaws. Some people wear a helmet just to avoid being fined by cops, but remember that you wear a helmet for yourself. Secure the strap around your jaw. Is it really worth such a big risk not to? Also, if you have pavilion riders, get an extra helmet. Their safety is in your hands. Be responsible. Most of the time, you may not be at fault, but someone else who decides to break the rules and causes an accident. Why should you and your pavilion rider pay the price?
Protect your eyes. Buy a helmet with a plastic face shield which will protect your eyes from rain, dust, wind, insects etc.
If the climate allows, it’s a good idea to wear a leather jacket, boots and gloves as they will protect you against bruises and minor injuries in case of a fall.
- Make yourself visible:
Wearing either reflective bands over your helmet or a helmet that is of a bright colour. Also put reflective bands on the sides and back of your two wheeler.
Make sure that you stay away from the blind spots of vehicles, trucks and buses in particular.
- Maintain a safe distance from vehicles:
Never stop right behind or ahead of a vehicle. Make sure you have enough space to move around. Avoid weaving in and out of traffic.Keep a distance while overtaking parked or moving vehicles or while overtaking other vehicles on the road. Whether you are overtaking a moving, or even a parked vehicle, make sure that you leave plenty of space. Do not try to cut ahead when there is some space between two vehicles. That is for avoiding collisions. Be respectful.
- Look out for obstacles and road hazards:
Garbage piles, speed breakers, oil spills, Pot-holes, railway crossings, dirt roads, stray animals among others can all pose a serious threat if we are not careful.
- Maintain your bike well:
Make sure your bike is in great condition by having it serviced regularly. Also try to check for yourself before each ride. Look out for the condition of the brakes, air pressure, tyre condition, horn, clutch, lights, suspension etc. If your bike is in good condition, it increases fuel efficiency and reduces risks of accidents.
- Make sure you follow all traffic rules. Signal your intentions well ahead and clearly so riders around you know your next move. Do not press the brakes and turn abruptly.
- Remember that your bike will not stop as soon as you press the brakes. This distance increases as the speed increases. Take necessary steps.
- Slow down and stop at every junction. You cannot predict where and when vehicles will come, no matter how empty the roads may seem or how late in the night it is.
- Never overtake on Junctions, Bridges, School Zones, Pedestrian Crossing as well as places marked with yellow lines. Never overtake from the left.
- If you need to pick up a call, pull over and then do so. Never text either while riding.
- Be considerate of pedestrians. Give them way.