One of the most important things a motorcyclist can do to stay safe on the road is to have an escape route. Planning an escape route is something every biker should constantly be doing as he rides through traffic.
When riding on a city street or on the highway, there is a great degree of unpredictability mainly caused by passenger car drivers. It is a well-documented fact that most motorcycle accidents are caused by vehicle drivers’ inability to see motorcyclists or because of driver distraction caused by a number of reasons.
Maintaining a cushion of space when riding your bike will help keep you safe on the road
So many hazards can suddenly appear when riding a motorcycle. It can be a distracted driver drifting into your lane, workers in a construction zone, highway traffic coming to a sudden and complete halt, or even a drunk driver. The areas that commonly require an escape route include intersections, curves, fixed hazards, and freeways.
Here are some tips to stay safe on the road.
- Creating a cushion of space around you helps ensure that you won’t get trapped in a situation that you can’t avoid. You always want to have sufficient time to brake or swerve. With enough space and enough time, you can respond smoothly and safely when a hazard suddenly appears.
- You want to be certain that the cushion you create applies not only to the car in front of you but any obstacles and motor vehicles on both sides and behind you. A two-second cushion or longer is recommended.
- When there are vehicles on either side of you, you want to ensure that you’re not in a situation where you can get pinned in. Speed up or slow down to avoid this scenario.
- Anticipate needing to maneuver out of the way of danger. Look for wide shoulders or a middle lane you could easily pull into, if needed. Be aware of the size of the gaps between cars and other bikes to determine if they’d provide a good escape route.
- As part of your on-going escape route plans, become familiar with the roads and exits you frequently ride on.
- Be aware of traffic patterns and note when they start to change.
- Avoid panic braking, as this could cause you to lose control of the bike and create a potentially serious motorcycle accident.
- Avoid target fixation and keep your eyes focused on where your motorcycle should be traveling.
- While changing speeds, practice maneuvers you might need to quickly swerve your bike. It’s an exercise that could prove valuable in the execution of escaping a dangerous situation.
It takes purpose and concentration to continually create escape routes as you ride your motorcycle, and requires discipline to make this a habit. Please, make it a habit to plan your escape route every time you ride.
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