Motoring corner : “Motorcycle Safety – Cont’d”

As indicated in our earlier episode, some bikes are very noticeable while others can easily disappear into the Zone. If you are a biker, which bike do you have? If you have a properly aligned headlamp (high beam always on in daylight) and properly aligned running lights, you can easily increase your zone presence to that of a much larger vehicle.
Reflectors are very important
Reflectors are very important

As indicated in our earlier episode, some bikes are very noticeable while others can easily disappear into the Zone. If you are a biker, which bike do you have? If you have a properly aligned headlamp (high beam always on in daylight) and properly aligned running lights, you can easily increase your zone presence to that of a much larger vehicle.

It’s hard to right turn in front of a biker when his headlamps are blasting bright rays into the windshield of the right turning car. The choice is yours, you need to make it now or never; immediate action now and adjust your headlights, and use them always on high beam and running lights on during the day. It can greatly improve your chance of not getting hit!

If you are worried that your bright light and running lights are too bright in the daylight as to blind a motorist, don’t worry! What is better?  You getting hit and probably being disabled or even getting killed or temporarily forcing the motorists to curse you!  Never mind, the purpose of this article is to keep you alive, do what you think will enhance your chances of remaining alive.

When you combine a brightly lit high beam head lamp and two properly positioned running lights, your zone will suddenly become visually loud, a great advantage to you. This is the perfect scenario to break thru the zone and get the attention of the motorist.  

Simply put, maximize your frontal zone appearance and you decrease chances of suffering the consequences of the reverse.  Having taken care of your front, what about the back of your bike, is it covered too?  Probably not.  Getting bashed from the back is not fun at all, If you have a tiny, miserable tail or brake light, as is normally the case with many riders, think twice; replace it immediately with one of the very bright brake light bulbs.  Also consider installing rear running lights that also supplement your brake light. Three bright lights on the back of your bike are much safer than a single standard brake light.   

If funds allow, consider adding side lights as well. Side lights are much more effective in night riding.  I have seen many buses that operate at night being fitted with so many lights at the front, back and sides, these serve to alert other nocturnal drivers of the driver’s zone presence.  Bikers could do likewise.
 
 As for night time riding, it is strongly recommend having reflective materials both on your body and on your bike. A well illuminated bike is going to bring attention to a motorist that is within or beyond the striking zone, especially if you ride with multi-colour reflective items. A large and bold reflective helmet, a reflective vest or jacket, you can even buy an assortment of reflective motorcycle graphic kits such as tank flame graphics or fender graphics.  

If you want to ride safe, you must take all available actions to make sure your bike is seen, especially at a 90 degree angle when riding at night.  Never ride without a reflective jacket, a helmet and strong clothing like jeans or khaki; these are handy in case you fall off the bike. 

As a matter of fact, a fall on a tarmac surface could be fatal as the road surface could “eat” away all your facial flesh; as a result, this could easily kill!   Having your head illuminate like an alien spaceship when a car is could stealthily and dangerously approach you is a pretty life saving idea! 

It is not only by night that you should have reflective attire on; I would recommend it every time you ride.  This should be irrespective of whether you are just ridding next door or several tens or hundreds of kilometres away.  Many people have been involved in accidents just outside the gates of their homes; at such proximities, the fatalities could be very high as the rider may not be on the alert yet! 
 
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