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It is undeniable that motorcycle fatalities continue to increase each year. Based on the data from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), motorcycle deaths have an average increase of 10% each year in the United States.

Today, 13% of overall traffic deaths come from motorcycle fatalities. Previously, it was only 5% of all traffic deaths. Because of this, motorcycle safety should be given some importance.

But most of all, to help you become the best motorcycle rider, you must be able to hone your skills. According to the data gathered by MSF, the following are the top 5 incidents that resulted in near crashes for motorcyclists:

The Top 5 Common Causes of Near Crashes

  • Approximately 30% of all near-crashes are caused by vehicles that keep switching into the motorcyclist’s lane.
  • Nearly 12% of all near-crashes are caused by cars that suddenly pull out of cut-off motorcyclists.
  • About 8% of all near-crashes are due to vehicles in front that abruptly slow down or stop.
  • Additionally, close to 8% of all near-crashes are also caused by vehicles that get into the motorcycle lane coming from the right.
  • Finally, about 7% of all near-crashes are due to vehicles that turn left into the motorcyclist’s lane.

When motorcyclists encounter these near-crash events, some of their most common responses are honking the horn, decelerating, swerving, braking, or sometimes they don’t make any actions or responses at all.

Based on the MSF’s study, the errors that were committed by motorcyclists account for at least 7% of all near-crashes. This indicates that motorcyclists must prioritize their safety whenever they are on the road since they are at the mercy of other vehicles and their surroundings.

Since drivers are getting more distracted and crashes are becoming more common, now is the critical time you need to master the skills that can keep you safe while riding your bike on the road.

The Top 5 Relevant Skills for Reducing Road Accidents

Every now and then, it is vital to refresh your riding skills and put them into practice. Generally, the three main areas of riding skills that you need to master are swerving, turning, and braking.

Becoming an expert in these skills can help you prevent accidents and hazards, as well as successfully maneuver your way through traffic every time you are traveling on the road.

Every rider must learn to develop these five important skills to keep them safer and reduce any accidents. But even after you have developed them, be sure to continue practicing them to improve your skills and keep you sharp.

Use Your Head and Eyes and Look Where You Want to Go

This is considered one of the most crucial motorcycle safety skills, yet most motorcyclists ignore it. When riding your bike, be sure to look where you want to go. Do not just use your eyes; instead, you must turn your body and point your nose in the direction where you want the motorcycle to go.

Doing this can help you with cornering, riding more smoothly, making smoother and sharper U-turns, and many more. If you try to look where you want your motorcycle to go and point your nose toward that direction, then you can immediately observe any obstacles on the road.

Generally, it is also recommended that you practice turning skills, such as sharp turns without stopping, basic turns, as well as sharp turns from a stop.

Safe Following Distance

Motorcycle training class with instructor

When riding your bike on the road, you need to observe a safe following distance of at least 2 seconds between the vehicles in front of you. In other words, once a vehicle passes a marker, it should not take you two seconds to pass that same marker.

Take note that this two-second following distance is only ideal for experienced riders who have great skills at braking in any ideal conditions. On the other hand, if you are not a well-experienced rider or are not in ideal conditions, then you should increase your following distance.

By observing a safe following distance, you can immediately see what’s ahead of you while riding on the road instead of being able to respond to situations once you encounter them.

If you fail to observe the proper following distance, then you won’t be able to see what’s ahead on the road. If you are too close to the vehicle in front of you, then you won’t be able to see what’s on the road ahead of you.

Most often, some motorcyclists tend to follow the vehicle in front of them too closely, not knowing that there might be a U-haul, truck, or larger car in front of the vehicle. When this happens, you will be completely blind to what is going on ahead of you on the road.

If you do not observe proper following space and you follow the vehicle in front of you too closely, then your life will greatly depend on the driver in front of you. That is why you must back up a little bit so you can give yourself some time to respond and make some adjustments rather than limiting the time to react.

Slowing Down the Speed

Slow-speed skills are another important skill that every rider should try to develop and improve to help reduce any risk of accidents. Practicing slow-speed maneuvering can help you develop body control, clutch, and throttle control, as well as head and eye focus.

Take note that it is quite difficult to ride a motorcycle slowly. However, if you develop slow-speed skills, then it can help you understand the difference between riding with speed.

Additionally, it can help in keeping you safe while traveling on the road. Other skills that you might want to spend time with are obstacle avoidance skills such as swerving and weaving.

Applying Emergency Braking

Generally, braking is an essential thing that you need to master. Braking is vital in different scenarios. For instance, when doing a quick stop on a curve or in a straight line.

Furthermore, emergency braking is also necessary during a regular stop on a curve or in a straight line. Aside from having strong braking skills, emergency braking is another important skill that riders must learn and master. Take note that some people on the road will make bad or even crazy decisions that can affect your path of travel.

That is why you must practice this skill ahead of time, to ensure that you have it whenever you need it. Hence, every time you encounter any emergencies on the road, it will just be second nature to you.

Turning Into a Corner

Knowing how to turn your bike into a corner is another crucial skill that every motorcyclist should know. One of the most effective techniques that can work for any rider is to slow down, look, press, then roll. As you are approaching a corner, you need to slow down your entry speed. After slowing down, try to look where you want to go.

Then, it’s time to press on the hand grips and take your turn. Finally, roll on the throttle to advance your speed or you can just maintain your speed while going through the corner.

U Ride can help you in honing these five important skills that every rider must know. Additionally, we also offer other essential skills. For more information about our motorcycle training, you can contact us at 714-425-7981 or send us an email at uridetraining@yahoo.com.