Don’t Let It Be Your Fault – Motorcycle Braking

Posted in: Rider Training and Safety | May 21, 2015


Cars and trucks often don’t see motorcycles for many reasons (none of those being good reasons), and as a result they cause accidents that usually result in some degree of injury to the motorcyce rider(s). We all, as members of the motorcycle riding community, need to keep taking advantage of every opportunity to educate the non-rider public about the level of care they need to take.

However, as responsible members of the motorcycle riding community, we also need to take responsibility when our own actions are less than safe. Too many motorcycle accidents are actually the fault of the motorcycle rider. In this article we explore some of those situations and what we, as riders, need to do to avoid being part of these accidents.

One of the most common mistakes that you will see being made by some of the motorcycle riders on the roads is the mistake of misjudging how much stoppage distance they need. ABS brakes certainly help, but only the most experienced riders can lock up the brakes at a high speed and come to a stop without damage or injury, and the most experienced riders aren’t going to do such a thing on a public road. If the motorcycle slams into a car ahead of it, the damage to the car won’t be as great as the damage to the motorcycle in most cases. However, the rider of the motorcycle will usually suffer more than simple embarassment in such an incident.
don't let it be your fault rider safety

Keep in mind that a motorcycle hitting a pedestrian will cause significant injury in most cases. The liability costs that can result could test your insurance policy‘s liability limit. So, yes, you should carry as high a liability limit as possible, but you should be travelling at speeds that are appropriate to the environment. Cruising past an elementary school at recess time, for example, requires an even higher level of awareness and speed control than usual.

Be aware of your skill level. Don’t ride outside your comfort zone. The line between confident riding and showing off beyond your abilities is one that is often crossed.

Take those curving roads at a speed that you can control; develop experience without getting yourself into a situation which has no escape route. Don’t even attempt something like passing a truck through a curve.
don't let it be your fault rider safety

Take the advice of professionals when it comes to knowing the proper techniques. Not everything is common sense; braking, for example, can be counter intuitive over and above the fact that it needs to be practiced properly so that you know your specific limits on a specific bike.

Some things really are common sense, though. Don’t stop a few inches behind a car at a stop light facing uphill. Don’t tailgate a car at speeds of 120 kilometres per hour. Ride only with people who ride responsibly. Focus entirely on everything going on around you.

Leave lots of room between you and the vehicle ahead of you for the speed at which you’re travelling. Don’t ride beside trucks and cars if at all possible. Make safe, technically skilled riding practices your goal, and you will then be able to realize the full enjoyment of motorcycle riding.


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