It's motorbike season! Ride safely

Motorbike on the roaf Expect the unexpected . Give yourself time to react

We've recently seen an increase in the number of motorbikes on British roads, and as a result of this there has been an increase in the number of motorcyclists that have been hurt on Britain's roads in recent years. Members of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are working with motorcyclists across Cheshire to reduce the number of casualties on the roads.

  • In Cheshire over a recent two-year period there were 1,058 motorcyclist casualties, 34% of which were killed or seriously injured.

  • Over the last three years motorcycle casualties have accounted for 22% of all road fatalities in Cheshire

  • Motorcyclists are 55 times more likely than car drivers to be killed or seriously hurt in an accident.

On this page you will find tips for motorcyclists and drivers to reduce the number of casualties on the roads.

Motorbikes - riding advice

  • Ensure the bike is safe to ride

  • Don't ride if you feel tired or unwell

  • Learn how to handle the power of the motorbike

  • Don't succumb to peer pressure when riding in groups

  • Be careful on bends and don't overtake if you can't see the road ahead

  • Don't do anything outside your own capabilities or take unnecessary risks

  • Learn to brake properly without going over the handlebars, as a motorbike's stopping power is nearly all in the front wheel. Equally don't use the back brakes alone as this can cause the bike to skid.  

Clothing tips for motorcyclists

It is extremely important to ensure that you wear the correct clothing whilst out riding, as unlike driving a car, there is nothing else to protect you from injury in the event of an accident.

  • Always wear protective clothing, even for short trips.

  • Make yourself visible. Ideally wear fluorescent clothing

  • Wear a long sleeved jacket, which fits closely around the waist.

  • Wear long trousers to protect you from the hot parts of the bike and to offer protection if you fall.

  • Full finger gloves to help maintain control of the bike, and to protect your hands should you fall off and slide across the road surface.

  • Choose the right helmet - your helmet could save your life.  The SHARP rating system helps you understand how much protection a helmet offers in a crash. Visit the SHARP website for more information (opens in new window)

  • It is important to wear good footwear when you ride a motorcycle. If you wear sandals or trainers your feet will have little protection if you fall off.

Dehydration - a hidden danger for bikers

Dehydration affects your concentration and your reaction time. When riding your motorcycle in warm weather, you can easily become dehydrated. Signs that you may be dehydrated:

  • Your head will become drowsy

  • You may have shallow breathing

  • You may feel a mental fogginess

  • You may have slower reaction times 

  • You will not longer be able to focus on traffic and riding

  • If it is hot and you are not sweating, this could be another sign that you are dehydrated and you could be nearing heat stroke
    Stay hydrated - drink plenty of water.

Accident involving a biker - would you know what to do?

If you were the first on the scene of an accident involving a biker, would you know what to do? Would you know who is most at risk, how to protect the area or whether you should remove the helmet of a downed rider?

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service offer a course for bikers, the Biker Down course, which is a free three-hour training course run by bikers for bikers designed to answer these uncertainties.

More about Biker Down

Advice for drivers to avoid a crash with a motorcyclist

Here are a few simple ways that you can avoid a crash with a motorcyclist:

  • Keep your distance - driving too close can intimidate a less experienced motorcyclist

  • Check for bikes when turning - double-check for motorcyclists, whether you're turning left or right

  • Look carefully for motorbikes when you pull out at a junction. If you're approaching a junction, look out for motorcyclists pulling out too

  • Check for bikes when changing lanes - a motorcyclist may be in the space you want to move into, or moving into it fast. Remember your blind spot

  • Park safely - check for motorcyclists before opening your car door - and ensure that your passengers do the same. When you pull away, remember to look specifically for motorcyclists as they can accelerate faster than cars.

Related images

Motorbike on the roaf Expect the unexpected . Give yourself time to react