Intense and complicated traffic
City motorcycle riding, with its intense and complicated traffic, can be extremely challenging and with more risks to be aware of. Car drivers can be so ‘in their bubble’ that they sometimes fail to see motorcycles. During the morning rush-hour, commuters can be half-asleep and during the winter months many fail to properly clean their car windows. People driving ‘enclosed’ vehicles often have other distractions, such as mobile phones, music, passengers and even just the ability to day-dream on ‘auto-pilot’.
Riders can become invisible in these circumstances and when you factor in car, bus and lorry blind spots, it is easy to recognise why motorcycle riders are vulnerable. Rider responsibility and defensive riding skills are key to safely managing these risks. Beyond the minimum requirements of CBT, novice riders should seek further training to better prepare them for these city riding challenges.
For car drivers, road congestion can make short journeys both time consuming and frustrating. Car drivers are more inclined to ‘challenge’ for position, to get road rage and to become annoyed by extended periods stuck in traffic. Motorcyclists must be mindful of this. They should remain calm, focused, aware and should ride smoothly through traffic, whilst taking advantage of situations where they can safely filter. Bikers should avoid rushing and regardless of right-of-way, should be prepared to give-way.
City riders need also to consider their bikes performance
City riders need also to consider their bikes performance. In a 30mph speed limit, a 50cc machine should have sufficient power, whilst in a 40mph zone, it may struggle and be more vulnerable.
In such scenarios, good forward observation and planning are essential to avoid incident. Riders must adopt a more purposeful defensive riding plan for every journey and are encouraged to seek further motorcycle training to enhance their city riding skills.
Riding a motorcycle in heavy traffic and congestion is not easy. Luck has no play a part and high-risk-riders who take chances, often add to accident statistics – that continue to rise in UK cities.
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