The Commuter Rationale
Motorcycles are ideal for commuting to work because they are:
• Economical to run
• Easy to park
• Able to bypass traffic holdups
• Fun to ride.
Two Things Cannot occupy the same place at the same time – unfortunately
Yes, scooters and motorcycles can transform your daily commute into a pleasure-filled fun-ride but they do have one downside. As a motorcyclist, you are vulnerable for two reasons:
• You have little protection in the event of an accident
• Motorcyclists are often invisible to other motorists.
The statistics can make for some bleak reading:
• Around 45% of fatal or serious injury motorcycle accidents occur in 50 km/h and 60 km/h zones
• In Western Australia, almost three quarters of fatal or serious injury motorcycle accidents occur within the metropolitan area
• The overall motorcycle fatality rate = 1 per 100, 000 people
• More than two thirds of motorcycle fatalities occur during daylight.
Statistics courtesy of: ors.wa.gov.au
Yes, the roads can be dangerous for any motorist but there is a lot you can do to ensure your safety on the daily commute.
Steps to commuting safely
1. Buy a motorcycle or scooter that is appropriate for your needs and skill level. Riding a motorcycle safely requires a high degree of alertness and skill. Assess your skill level and strength and buy a motorcycle that you can handle. If this is your first motorcycle and you only intend to use it for city commutes there is not much point buying an 1100cc monster—in fact, you would be an accident waiting to happen.
2. Buy good quality protective gear including helmet, jacket, pants, gloves and boots. Good gear will also help keep you warm and dry in wet wintry conditions and avoid the slow reaction times brought on by lowering of the body temperature.
3. Maintain safe stopping distances from vehicles in front and behind. Brake smoothly and gently—this gives motorists behind time to see your brake lights and respond. In heavy traffic, watch for events several vehicles ahead of you. Don’t just focus on the vehicle immediately in front of you. If the car in front brakes suddenly and you are too close you may not have time to stop.
4. Ride to the conditions. Conditions such as gravel, oil, wet manhole covers and even painted lane markings can be treacherous for motorcyclists so constantly scan the road ahead for possible hazards. Other hazards may include the children playing with the ball on the footpath or the dog eyeing up that nice fat cat across the street.
5. Take a motorcycle safe riding course.
Be an alert, safe motorcyclist and ensure your commutes are one of the best parts of your day.