9 Advantages of Riding Defensively
For the riding community, defensive driving is more than just a skill; it’s a way of life. It’s the ability to anticipate potential hazards on the road and take proactive measures to prevent accidents. It provides us with a sense of control and safety, knowing that we can handle unexpected situations that may arise while riding.
To put it bluntly, defensive riding keeps riders alive.
Sadly, despite all the road rules for both cars and bikes, riders are 45 times more vulnerable to fatal accidents. But it’s not the bikes. Eighty per cent of road accidents are the consequence of another driver or rider’s negligence.
What is Defensive Riding?
Defensive riding is a combination of proactive strategies, techniques, and attitude. It means being aware of your own limitations, as well as those of other road users. It involves being aware of the environment around you at all times and responding quickly to potential hazards.
The key components of defensive riding include:
- Scanning the horizon: This involves consistently scanning the road ahead, looking for potential hazards.
- Positioning properly: Proper positioning gives you more control of the bike and allows you to choose which line is safest when riding.
- Communicating with other drivers: Signaling your intentions in a clear manner can help to avoid confusion on the road.
- Anticipating the unexpected: Always be prepared for sudden changes in traffic conditions and take action to avoid them.
Practical Advantages of Defensive Riding
Defensive riding has numerous benefits that can help riders stay safe on the road and avoid accidents. Some of the most significant benefits of defensive riding include:
- Anticipation: Defensive riding helps riders anticipate potential hazards on the road, giving them enough time to react and prevent accidents.
- Improved Awareness: It helps riders become more aware of their surroundings, including other vehicles, obstacles, and potential hazards.
- Reduced Risk: By taking proactive measures to avoid accidents, defensive riding reduces the risk of collisions and injuries.
- Better Decision-making: It helps riders make better decisions while riding, such as maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles and obeying traffic laws.
- Confidence: By learning defensive riding techniques, riders gain confidence in their ability to handle unexpected situations on the road, making them safer and more competent riders.
Enjoyment Advantages of Defensive Riding
While defensive riding is undoubtedly about safety, the byproduct of this empowering riding approach is that you are more confident and can, as a result, truly, unreservedly enjoy the ride.
The psychological benefits for riders include:
- Reduced Anxiety: Defensive riding helps riders feel more in control on the road, reducing anxiety and stress while riding.
- Increased Self-Confidence: By learning how to handle unexpected situations on the road, riders gain self-confidence and self-assurance, which can translate to other areas of their life.
- Improved Focus: Defensive riding requires riders to be fully engaged and focused, which can improve their ability to concentrate and stay alert.
- Sense of Accomplishment: Mastering defensive riding techniques gives riders a sense of accomplishment, pride, and satisfaction, which boosts their overall well-being and motivation to continue improving their skills.
To be a defensive rider, you need to deliberately train for it. This could be through a course or a mentor. Whatever you choose, the goal is to be proactive about safety so that you can enjoy the freedom and thrill of motorcycling for years to come.
Take your time, stay safe and remember: defensive riding isn’t just about saving lives – it’s also about living it to the fullest!