The month of May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month – a month for motorcyclists to reflect on how to be as safe a rider as possible and develop all the right habits, and for motorists to be aware of motorbikes out on the road.
Ryan Farquhar, the most successful road racer ever with 357 road race victories and a vast knowledge of how to stay safe on the roads has been sharing his expertise with Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon PCSP and the ABC Road Safety Committee.
“There is a big difference in Road Racing for competition and every day motorcycling on our roads,” commented Ryan.
“When I was taking part in a race all the traffic was going in the same direction, emergency services were close by if there was an accident, there were no vehicles merging onto a race track and every motorcyclist on the track was kitted out with the most advance clothing and helmets for their sport. So it is vitally important that all motorcyclists using the road make sure they stay safe and can be seen, while also enjoying the experience.”
Motorcycle safety includes safe riding practices, wearing the proper gear, ensuring you can be clearly seen on the roads and thinking about motorist awareness.
It can often be difficult to get people driving cars to see you and to keep motorcycles in mind – and this is often out of your control. What is in your control though, is wearing the correct clothing and helmet and practicing safe riding techniques and habits. The black on black look might be slick, but it is not going to keep you seen and safe. Think high visibility and/or colourful clothing and helmets, including high visibility belts and vests to ensure you stand out and stay safe.
Both motorcyclists and motorists need to be aware of their surroundings. Checking blind spots, using their mirrors and turning signals are necessary when changing lanes and when passing. Never send a text or look at your phone while on your motorbike – just one text can change a life forever. Always wear protective gear and keep your bike in its best working condition. Also, be mindful of any road hazards and dangerous weather conditions.
The PCSP would also encourage all motorcyclists to carry an ‘In Case of Emergency’ (ICE) card when out on the roads. This card fits into a pocket and contains contact details of next of kin and any allergies that the person has. This information is very important to emergency services in the case of an accident.