Riding to the Conditions

Riding to the Conditions

Whether you're using your motorcycle to ride to the shops on a cold, wet winter's day or to take a nice cruise in the country on a sunny afternoon, motorcycle safety should always be a priority.

Take a look at our list of top ten safe riding strategies which includes things to do before you head out and things to remember while you're on the road.

  1. Look out for other road users that are not looking for you. Remember to ride conspicuously, avoid blind spots and assume that the other vehicle won’t stop for you.
  2. Unlike car drivers with air bags, collapsible steering columns and stability of 4 wheels, riders only have their hazard perception, advance skills and their protective clothing to keep them safe.
  3. Always wear visible, good quality, protective clothing from your head to your feet. Protect your extremities with a helmet, gloves and leg and arm protection in all weather conditions.
  4. Motorcycles require more time and distance to stop than cars in an emergency situation and even more so in wet conditions. Always keep a three-second gap to the vehicle in front of you.
  5. Always do a head check before changing lanes. Just checking your rear view mirror is not good enough.
  6. It is vital to ride at a speed to suit the conditions. In bad weather, this could mean a speed that’s under the posted speed limit.
  7. Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs is suicidal. Your faculties need to be at a high level to ride a motorcycle successfully.
  8. Consider the safety of your pillion passenger as well as yourself. They will also need good protective clothing, plus knowledge of motorcycle dynamics and the best ways to assist the rider as a pillion passenger.
  9. Lending your motorcycle to riders who are unlicensed or inexperienced is a bad idea. There are severe penalties for riding an unregistered motorcycle.
  10. All intersections and junctions are high risk areas. Slow down when approaching an intersection and be ready to avoid a possible collision.

Riding in the Wet

Winter presents a whole different set of road conditions for motorcyclists. Here are some basic tips for wet weather riding.

  1. Rug up. Make sure you’ve got proper rain gear that’s breathable yet waterproof. If you’re riding long distances, consider thermals as well.
  2. Helmet. Make sure your helmet covers your face — a no brainer really.
  3. Hand grips. Consider investing in some heated handgrips or a pair of hand guards.
  4. Tyres. Check your tyres to ensure they’re in good condition and suitable for wet weather. 
  5. Watch the road. Things like line markings, metal plates, potholes, tram tracks and wet, soggy leaves can be more dangerous than you think.
  6. Puddles. Water hides the surface and you just never know what you’re riding into. 
  7. Oil. A coloured rainbow on a wet road is sure sign of oil. Use extreme caution.
  8. Brakes. You’ll need more time to brake and when you do, apply more rear brake than normal and brake gently. 
  9. Be visible. Because rain makes it difficult for others to see you, now’s the time to put on high visibility clothing.

Motorcycle riders only have their helmet, the gear they’re wearing and their riding skills and ability to protect them from unforeseen hazards and other road users. Whatever the conditions, make safety your highest priority by doing everything you can to protect yourself before you set off on a ride and while you’re on the road.

Find out more
http://www.mac.sa.gov.au/riders#rider-safety-tips

On The Road with Keith Conlon - Police Road Safety Centre

On The Road with Keith Conlon - Police Road Safety Centre

Mick Doohan Safety Tips - Riding on the Road

Mick Doohan Safety Tips - Riding on the Road

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Wet weather safety tips

Wet weather safety tips

MAC has the following tips for safer road use during wet weather:

  1.  Drive to the conditions, and lower your speed in cases where visibility is poor or roads are slippery;
  2. Keep a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front – count at least three seconds;
  3. Check your tyres – if they have less tread on them, the tyres cannot displace enough water, which may make the vehicle aquaplane;
  4. Check for wear and tear on wiper blades and replace them as soon as they start to smear rather than clean windows;
  5. Check your car’s lights and indicators to make sure all are working properly and always turn on headlights in wet or foggy conditions;
  6. Cyclists should use their lights during the day as well as at night, and wearing florescent and reflective clothing will make it easy for drivers to see you;
  7. Pedestrians should always cross at the lights and be aware that drivers could have difficulty seeing them

When to use your fog lights

When to use your fog lights

Fog lights are designed to be used in fog or other hazardous weather conditions causing reduced visibility.

When fog lights are used in clear weather conditions the glare from these powerful lights can make driving difficult for approaching traffic.

Did you know that it is an offence to use fog lights when not driving in fog or other hazardous weather conditions and can incur a penalty of $218?

More Information

Australian Road Rules

Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) Regulations (expiation fees)

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