Occasionally you may come across someone whom you might consider ‘an accident waiting to happen’. Other times you may hear that someone you know has had an accident and you were not surprised by the news.
This relates to an earlier article called: ‘Should I or Shouldn’t I Say Something’ in which open discussion amongst riders and tackling sensitive subjects was described.
Many of the motorcycle accidents that are attended by the emergency services are confirmed as rider error. However, there are also many accidents that are laid at the feet of the other road users. The purpose of this article is to provide accurate information about real accident scenarios, why they occurred and how they could be avoided…even if that information is not always what some riders want to hear.
Anytime I attend a motorcycle accident or hear about one I get a slight feeling that at some point the rider has been let down by a system that either did not ‘educate’ them properly, or they have let themselves down because they did not listen to or have forgotten any advice, training etc, they may have been given in the past. Of course there are many times when there is great sympathy for a rider who has encountered a situation and was not able to avoid having an accident.
The tide has started to turn ever so slightly, however the reality is that most riders will not undertake any kind of recurrent training or take an advanced riding course. I believe it is currently at less than 20% of riders who engage in further training.
Many riders will gain information about riding techniques through reading magazines, watching motor sport on TV, reading online articles or just chatting to friends…and many riders will not do any of this. A lot of information that is available is either misinterpreted and not executed correctly or was intended as track discipline or is a track discipline that is portrayed as being for the road. Unfortunately some riders absorb this information from wherever it heralds and then try it out without due prudence or adequate training, which leads to an inevitable accident in some cases. There are of course some riders who do this and are very capable but it does not mean that they are not portraying a negative image of riders or even they might be creating a hazard to other road users.
There is also a case to answer that some riders believe they are a lot better at riding than they actually are and try to emulate their racing heroes skills on the road. There are also riders that are totally oblivious to their poor riding habits and techniques, but carry on regardless and it is by fortune that they do not become an accident statistic.
There is information that is largely available from various sources that is generally very good, accurate and discusses real world road riding techniques, attitudes and pitfalls. HELI BIKES does not claim to have all the answers or offer to teach people how to ride, but merely to highlight certain hazards and how they might be avoided.
The overwhelming majority of riders are generally safe and conscientious, and absorb information from all the various sources, unfortunately it seems that the actions of the minority would forge a public perception of what riders are like.
To tackle the accident statistics, we as riders should first acknowledge that we don’t always get it right but we should be able to learn from ours and others mistakes. We should seek out good information on suitable road riding techniques and get some recurrent training and practice these skills every time we go for a ride.
We should seek out various sources of information on safer riding practices and perception of road hazards, and propagate that amongst friends and other road users. In many ways we as everyday riders need to start talking about riding and rider safety within the same context. Speak openly and honestly about the real issues that face a road rider and actively consider that riding a motorcycle is a skill that has to be learned, practised and has to be an evolving art.