Accidents happen, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t prevent them. In order to prevent an accident, you must know how and why they occur in the first place. So here are six causes that you should take note of and how to avoid them from ever happening.
Braking too late
When you brake and how you brake are incredibly important. If you brake too late, you run the risk of getting rear-ended by another vehicle be it a motorcycle, a car, or a truck. Your motorcycle’s lights will indicate that you are coming to a stop, but if you’re coming to a stop too quickly and there is someone following right behind you, there is a chance that he or she will not be able to hit their brakes in time. This goes for bikes that have very sticky rubber as found on most sport nakeds and sportbikes. The better the compound, the faster your bike will stop.
As such, you always want to give yourself some space when approaching a stop not because your motorcycle can’t slow down in time, but because the person behind you might not be able to stop on a dime. You also want to make sure that you’re coming to a stop smoothly. Pay attention so you don’t get spooked and end up pulling your brake lever quickly because if you do…
Perhaps one of the most common ways to get into a motorcycle accident is to panic brake. This involves the rider pulling the brakes really hard in a panic to stop their vehicle. Doing this will cause problems for you should your tires lock up, which will cause you to fall. Locking your rear tire is not as dangerous as locking your front, which can cause you to lose your balance and your bike to slide to its side and tip over.
Anti-lock braking systems come in handy for this scenario, but not all bikes come with it. Panic braking can happen to the best of riders given that you cannot predict everything that happens on the road, however, you can anticipate it by giving your levers some preload, and paying close attention to the environment that you’re riding in. If you know that you’re riding in a densely populated area or a populated area in general, it would be good to limit your speed and cover your brakes. Tires also come into effect here. Most road-going bikes will have an easy time getting a grip on the road, but dirt bikes and adventure-tourers might not be as lucky as these bikes often come with dual-sport tires that might not be able to grip the road as effectively as standard tires.
Too much speed
As such, don’t go too fast in corners or on straights. We see this all the time in online videos of people going through twisty roads. Sometimes, riders go a little too fast through a turn, and they end up overshooting or going a little too fast. There are several factors in play that allow motorcycles to corner quickly which include tires, road surface, rider technique, as well as corner entry speed.
Be sure to use your brakes to slow down before a corner. Where you apply the brakes matter here as applying the brakes mid-corner can result in a low-side as your front loses traction and you end up on your side. Sometimes, going too fast will cause a rider to panic or track a straight line and go wide. This can be especially dangerous on two-lane roads with oncoming traffic.
Going into the oncoming lane
This leads us into our next bit, which is going into the opposite lane. Especially true for two-way roads especially on winding roads, many riders have gone wide either on purpose to get a better angle of attack in the corners to track a faster line, or to get a better view of the corner ahead. Either way, do not go in the opposite lane just to go faster than everyone else. It’s dangerous and you could hit an oncoming motorist.
Not enough space
Another common cause of accidents on motorcycles is not giving yourself and other motorists space to maneuver. Lane filtering is already dangerous with the proximity that one would experience in the cities of the Philippines. Due to this, some riders tend to weave in and out of cars without regard for space and other motorists’ proper braking distances. As such, it’s quite common that a car and a bike can make contact in a traffic jam. Worse still is that some cars might crawl forward around the same time that a motorcycle is looking to filter through the traffic, and between the front bumper of a car and a motorcycle, the motorcycle might not come out of this exchange with both wheels on the ground.
A change in surface
Even the best riders in the world can crash due to a change in surface, be it a painted line that separates two lanes, a patch of dirt, oil, or even just plain old rain. Changes in the road surface can throw off your tires to the point where they simply slip.