Motor News

14 September 2019 by Geoffrey Insurance

Take a second look for motorbikes

The road safety group's North East region said that drivers should remember to take a second look for bikes before pulling out of junctions or attempting to overtake.

It also advised bikers to "take it easy" when out on the roads.

Paul Watson, chairman of Road Safety GB North East, said the majority of motorcyclist fatalities involve bikes over 500cc, and 71% occur on urban roads, rather than in rural areas.

"While motorbikes account for less than 1% of total miles travelled in the North East, motorcyclists account for 19% of people seriously injured or killed on the roads, which is quite a startling figure," Watson said.

"We are delighted to see that the number of motorcycle casualties across the region has decreased by 16% since 2012, but we are still seeing a high number of fatalities, and collision figures are way off where we would like them to be.

"Failing to look properly is a factor in many road collisions, and collisions involving motorbikes are no different. It may be that the biker hasn't looked properly or is travelling too fast or not in accordance with the conditions or road. Sometimes they simply lose control of their bike.

"However, it could also be down to drivers failing to spot a motorbike when they are pulling out of a junction, or when they go to overtake.

"Bikers are more vulnerable to serious injury, so we urge everyone to take it easy, to drive or ride sensibly, and to look out for each other. It could save a life."

Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has published a handy list of checks that bikers should carry out before setting off for their first ride of the season.

Going under the POWDERY mnemonic, it says bikers should check:

Petrol - If your bike has been standing for a long time, old petrol can cause starting problems as it may clog up the fuel system. Consider draining your old petrol if there is a lot, and filling up with new petrol.

Oil - Keep the bike vertical when checking your oil level, for example by getting someone to sit on it. Bear in mind that overfilling can also cause damage, so top up slowly and check your fuel level regularly.

Water - This needs to be checked (again, with the bike vertical) if you have a water-cooled engine. Use a mix of water and antifreeze for topping up the level.

Damage - Check for any damage on your bike, helmets and protective clothing.

Electrics - Check your lights and both the foot and hand brake light switches.

Rubber - Don't forget your tyres -- check your tyre pressure as well as the condition and tread depth.

You - If you're out of practice, take it slow and steady until you regain your sharpness and adjust to bike mode.

Are there any popular motorbiking routes in your area?