10 Tips for Safe Riding in Traffic
Riding in traffic can be frustrating than you think. Congratulations on the new bike you got but to keep riding it around in the city, you need to be safe and aware about whats’s happening around you in the insane city traffic. Traffic in India can be really unpredictable. There will be times where you don’t even have to think about getting home and you are there and times where you think about home every minute you’re stuck in traffic. Riding in traffic can be dangerous. Here are 10 things you can do to improve riding in traffic and keep you and your bike safe.
1. Cover your brakes
You might want to go home as fast as possible to catch your favorite show you’ve been following for a long time and you try to speed as and when possible. There will be times when something unpredictable comes on the way and you might have to brake to avoid collision and that’s when this trick comes in place. Always have your brakes covered by placing a finger or two on the brakes to minimize the time required to brake and stop on time. This will help you stop right on time and avoid collision.
2. Use your thumb
Always remember to turn on the indicators before making a turn. Letting people know which way you are going is the best way to avoid danger. Nobody likes to ram into anyone so when they notice you turn on the indicator, it’ll give them an idea about which way you are going and move away from making that dangerous overtake. Going hard on the indicator button and changing it when broken is better than not being able to ride after an unwanted collision.
Also read: Automatic Headlight On
3. Stay on the left (or right) side of the road
You see a huge jam ahead of you? No problem, just stay to the left or the ride side of the jam. Because while you are riding in the center of the road and the traffic ahead of you stalls, you wont have an escape route to get out of that mess. Staying on the left or right will provide you with small gaps where you can manoeuver your bike and get out of that hell hole. Don’t trust me? Try it next time you’re stuck in traffic and tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Look at the driver’s head or mirrors
You have a small gap ahead of you between the road and the car and you wanna race through it to avoid riding behind the boring driver ahead of you? Look at the drivers head and the mirror before making that overtake. When you look at the driver’s head or the mirrors you get an idea about which way he’s looking and the car will turn in the direction the driver is looking at.
5. Do not trust your mirrors
Mirrors have a blind spot where you will not be able to see the rider or the driver behind you if that particular person is in the blind spot of your mirrors. While taking turns or making a lane change, always look into your mirror and also look around by turning your head which will give you a better idea of whose around you. Blind spots are hard to overcome and the best way to overcome that is by looking around with your own eyes.
6. Maintain fair distance
Maintaining fair distance between you and the car in front of you can work wonders. Keeping distance will help you make that red light stop quite easily and also avoid pot holes which the driver puts between his car. Always stay about 5 metres away from the person ahead of you to help you stop on time and avoid the pot holes he misses.
7. Be noticed
Being seen in traffic is really important. Specially when you are riding at night. Wearing a dark colored helmet and riding gear can land you in trouble. Even if you do wear dark colored gear and helmet, make sure you buy some good reflectors and use it on them for better visibility in the night. This can help oncoming traffic notice you and you will be saved.
8. Look where you want to go
Always looking at where you wanna go can take you to that place. Suppose you see a curve ahead of you and you wanna give that Moto GP rider in you a chance, look ahead of the curve and look at where you wanna take your bike. When you do this, you get an idea of whats ahead of you and you will know if you have to twist that throttle or gently move along.
9. Ride in low gear
Riding in low gear lets you open that throttle and give you enough power to shoot through traffic when the road ahead is empty. Riding in high gear will slow down your bike when you try to give it more gas to ride around in the city. It will still provide you with good power but only after some time and will not be instant. For instant power delivery and easy overtakes, be in low gear and rev when required.
10. Hand signs
Physical way of letting people know what you are doing or what you are going to do will keep you safe from accidents. Hand signals while stopping or taking turns will let others know your plans and they’ll stay away from it. Suppose you are not in a mood to rush through traffic and get past the line before the light says red, just lift your hand and show a stop sign telling people that you will be stopping and not racing away. This will help them know what you are thinking and not trouble you with unnecessary honks.
Also read: Motorcycle touring tips
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