For many commuters, the only way to travel is via motorcycle. You can make your way through congested traffic, you don’t have to jostle between other commuters on the public transport network and you’re far less likely to get to work stressed and behind schedule!
If you commute to work on your motorcycle, then you’ll already be benefiting from lower commute costs, a faster commute time and a smaller carbon footprint. However, what many motorcycle riders don’t realize is that driving in a city requires a completely different attitude to riding along the open roads of the countryside.
The biggest danger you’ll be facing is from other motorists who these days are distracted by smartphones and social media as well as being incredibly stressed at the thought of being late for work, which means more erratic driving and dangerous choices – if you’ve been in a road accident whilst on your motorcycle speak to a local motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Here we’ll explore some helpful inner-city riding tips for new motorcyclists.
Keep your speed down
Of course, when you’re in gridlocked traffic, you can only go as fast as the traffic will allow. This can be incredibly frustrating, so when you do see a small gap opening up between vehicles, it’s tempting to accelerate to squeeze between them. Unfortunately, another driver may have also spotted this opening and will move forward just as quickly to close the space. Keeping your speed down and only maneuver where there is plenty of room.
Leave plenty of room between you and other cars
Again, closing up those spaces might get you a little closer to your office, but if you’re jammed up too closely to the car in front then the car behind you may not see you in time to stop. Likewise, if the car you’re behind suddenly needs to maneuver, then you’ll have nowhere to go! Be smart and leave plenty of space around you where possible.
Wear the right clothing
Naturally, you’ll be wearing your safety gear, however even in a busy city with slow-moving traffic you should make yourself undeniably visible. Wearing a high-visibility vest, a brightly colored helmet and plenty of reflective tapes will help keep you noticeable, even in poor visibility conditions. Check out the best smart motorcycle helmets that will do more than just protect your head.
Be wary of car doors
Just because you’re in traffic, that doesn’t mean you’re not at risk of being ejected from your bike by a car door suddenly opening. People getting in and out of taxis, individuals hopping out of buses… as a motorcycle rider, you need to be extra cautious of these hazards. Keeping yourself visible will help here.
What to do if you’re involved in an accident
We all hope that we’ll never be in a situation where we need to know what to do after a motorcycle crash but the sad truth is that accidents happen. Whether you’re a new rider or an experienced road user, it’s helpful to know what steps to take if you’re involved in a collision. The number one priority should always be health and safety. Try to ensure the area is safe and then seek medical advice. Report the accident to the police and if you are able to, take photographs and write down everything you can remember.
If you were not at fault for the crash, you may want to learn more about personal injury compensation. If you were injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, for example, you have the right to consider taking legal action. Experienced personal injury lawyers can help you decide whether this is the best course of action. If you have a good case, your team will collect and present evidence on your behalf.
And finally, know where you’re going to park
Knowing your parking arrangements before you set off will help make your journey less stressful. So, make sure your parking lot has space designated for motorcycles. Ensure your bike is securely chained and consider keeping your bike covered in case the weather turns bad whilst you’re at work. The last thing you’ll want after a long day at work is sitting on a soaking wet seat all the way home!