Motorcycles are thrilling and convenient vehicles for a wide variety of reasons. They’re cheaper than many vehicles, they take less fuel, and they fit into narrow parking spots that are inaccessible for car drivers.
For all of those benefits—and plenty of others—that make motorcycles the compact, zippy rides bikers love, the tough reality of biking is that there are countless motorcycle dangers on the road at any given time. Safety is the biggest thing almost every car model will always have over motorbikes.
Yet, people hop on their bikes every day without a care. Some don’t even bother to get licenses, thinking they’re above the law.
What they’re missing is that being too cool for school won’t get you far in life… but it might put you six feet under. Getting a motorcycle license involves basic training and makes you prove you know what you’re doing.
Poor road etiquette and motorcycle safety hurt and kills others on the road, too. If you don’t want to learn to protect your own life, at least take some time to protect others.
Kickstart your education with this list of motorcycle hazards you need to know and avoid.
- Intersections: Unavoidable Danger Zones
Do you remember learning to drive a car and how hard it was to remember right-of-way laws and how to navigate intersections? Wait—no, rewind. Do you remember being a little kid, holding your parent’s hand, and looking both ways as you crossed the road?
As adorable as a chain of kindergartners marching across the crossing is, there’s a serious reason behind it. Intersections pose risks to everyone, but pedestrians, cyclists, and bikers are exposed, often unseen, and in the most danger.
Intersections are veritable death traps, between people struggling with right of way and naïve children, showy car drivers and bikers taking hard turns without care, slow-turning semis, and people running stop signs and lights.
Be serious about all of these elements and risks. Looking both ways is no game: It’s for adults, too! Many drivers don’t look for bikers and cyclists, and sometimes lose them in their blind spots.
Assume that nobody knows or follows the rules every time you reach an intersection. Watch out and follow right-of-way when you can, but notice and adapt when people ignore the policy. There’s no avoiding intersections, but you can prevent accidents if you’re no-nonsense about them.
- Braking Hard While Panicking
The overwhelming majority of people who have driven cars have braked hard when panicking. There’s always something, whether it’s a dog running across the road, unexpected traffic congestion, and countless other interruptions.
People know panic braking and its ear-splitting screech so well that it’s everywhere in media, from The Simpsons to Hollywood films and more. That makes the act so silly to some drivers that they like slamming the brakes as a horrible prank or warning to tailgaters. No joke is worth risking your life and the lives of others.
Panic braking in a car is dangerous enough because other drivers don’t expect it and often get hit. As with most other motorcycle hazards, the lack of an enclosed cab makes panic braking more dangerous for bikers. You might get lucky, but slamming the brakes on your bike could well lead to a devastating motorcycle accident.
Panic stopping on a motorcycle locks the front wheel, and the force can throw you off your bike. As with car incidents, you may also surprise others on the road and cause a crash or even a pile-up.
If you’re prone to panic braking or are serious about avoiding this risk—and everyone should be—consider anti-lock brakes (ABS). They don’t remove all the risks of sudden braking, but they help limit them. If you don’t have ABS, get to know your bike inside and out and practice heavy braking in an empty lot.
- Nasty Weather and Road Conditions
The weather is one of the biggest causes of dangerous conditions for motorcycles. When you think of hazardous weather, you may imagine black ice and puddles that are deeper than they seem. Those are serious issues, but even a light shower makes roads more dangerous than when they’re dry.
As vehicles zip down the road, their tires leave bits of rubber behind. Oil drips and other pollution also settle on the asphalt. Rain hits this gunk and makes a slippery surface.
If you can, don’t bike when the weather is nasty. When you can’t do that, like when it starts pouring while you’re on the highway, change your tactics. Be aware, slow down a little, and pull over if you feel like it’s not so safe.
- Cornering At High Speeds
Overconfident cornering is another major cause of motorcycle crashes. When riding a motorbike, you may feel like its small size makes speedy cornering fun and easy. To some degree, you do have more control over a motorcycle, and they are a bit more nimble.
However, going fast while making turns is a good way to throw yourself off your bike or tip over and get crushed. It’s also far too easy to run into another vehicle, pedestrian, or cyclist that you don’t see when you make hard turns.
Take your time when turning, and practice them all the time in parking lots or your driveway so you know what you’re doing. Cornering on a motorcycle is more challenging than cornering in most cars, due to the risk of falling over and the fact that you’re 100% exposed.
Don’t be overconfident and try to make showy turns in regular driving! If you feel it’s your life’s calling to do so, check out motorcycle sports where you can make all the high-speed turns you want. It’s still dangerous, but at least you’re in a controlled environment and far from anyone who didn’t agree to the risk.
Everything From Motorcycle Dangers to a Good Time
With these four motorcycle dangers in mind, you’ll be a safer cyclist. Safer biking protects you and everyone else on the road. Plus, avoiding these issues means you’ll have more fun with your hobby.
During your biking breaks, check out this site for something to read. We have useful tips on everything ranging from motorcycle hazards to betting, hunting, and marijuana. Click on another article and hop on the road to a more fun life today.