After a winter break, bikers need to warm up too
Many motorcyclists are raring to go, eager to get on the road again after a long winter break. As the season starts, however, the accident rate rises sharply. When a vehicle turning left fails to notice a motorbike that has already started to overtake, it always creates a dangerous situation. “Look carefully when turning left and driving through intersections – and if in doubt, it’s better to look back a second time,” recommends Luigi Ancona, an accident researcher at DEKRA.
Motorcyclists can help mitigate situations like these by clearly making themselves seen in the rear-view mirror of the vehicle in front before overtaking. This means avoiding the dangerous “blind spot” where the driver ahead cannot see them in their rear-view mirror – and, naturally, turning their lights on as needed. Dangers often lurk for bikers in the springtime when there is frost damage or leftover grit on the road surface, which can easily cause a fall.
Another important point to note is that after taking a winter break, both bike and biker have to warm up to get back to the previous year’s level. A comfortable practice ride in familiar surroundings will settle bikers back into a familiar routine and restore a sense of security on the road. Ancona also recommends warm protective clothing that can handle the up-and-down spring temperatures. As well as offering protection from wind and bad weather, this will also provide the only “crumple zone” for riders in the event of an accident. This makes it a safety must to carry out an equipment check before going out on the first ride. Last but not least on the start-of-season agenda: checking the motorcycle itself. However, work on parts that have a bearing on safety belongs in specialist hands. As well as risking expensive repairs, tinkering without a proper understanding of the parts also has the potential to cause accidents.