According to the Global Road Safety Report, 2015, released by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 200,000 people lose their lives in road accidents in India every year. In an official report rolled out by the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry recently, 1.46 lakh people were said to have been killed in road accidents in 2015 – an alarming 5% increase from 2014. With the accident rate increasing so rapidly, it becomes essential to take all precautions possible to ensure road safety.
While some people find two-wheelers more comfortable than four-wheelers, some find the latter more convenient. Although it’s just a matter of individual preference, four-wheelers are considered to be safer. And with good reason. With airbags and seat belts, a four-wheeler does have the edge over a two-wheeler.
Additional Reading: Does Health Insurance Cover Car Accident Injuries?
Here are 10 safe riding tips for two-wheelers in India:
- Regularly monitor the condition of your vehicle
Ensure that you check your bike regularly for the brakes, tyre pressure, lights, horn, etc. before taking it out every day. If you haven’t used your bike for some time, you need to check it well before riding it again.
- Always wear a helmet
If you have a two-wheeler, don’t ever step out of your house without a helmet – an ISI-certified helmet, not a flimsy miner’s helmet. Although carrying your helmet everywhere might be a little inconvenient, in case of an accident, it could save your life. Always ensure that your pillion rider dons a helmet too.
- Stick to your left to avoid over-speeding vehicles
It’s better to stick to the left side of the road to avoid all the speeding vehicles that are in a hurry to overtake. They often tend to drive in a zig-zag manner that can make you lose balance easily.
- Don’t over speed
Even if you’re in a hurry, try and maintain a normal speed rather than trying to get somewhere faster by risking your life. Most road accidents are caused as a result of over speeding. Try and avoid that.
- Signal your intentions before making a move
Learn to use hand gestures and indicators to signal your moves well, prior to actually taking a turn or stopping. No matter how experienced you are, it’s always better to signal before making a sudden move.
- Avoid taking abrupt turns
Taking sudden turns only increases your chances of bumping into others. To be on the safer side, it’s better to think well before making unexpected moves on the road. If the vehicles around have a better idea about your movements, it helps avoid chances of mishaps.
- Always mind the gap
It’s better to maintain a safe following distance while riding, rather than getting too close – ideally, at least 7-8 feet behind the vehicle ahead of you. The closer you get to a vehicle, the higher the chances of a collision. If the vehicle ahead of you brakes suddenly, it’ll lead to an accident. Therefore, it’s better to keep away and maintain a safe gap.
- Be alert at all times
While you’re on the road, your alertness levels should be at their highest. Look out for traffic signals and speed breakers to minimise the chances of an accident. Although you might be surrounded by attractive billboards, it’s better to stay focused on the road ahead of you. Stop checking out the latest offers on your favourite brands! It’ll prove to be beneficial for you as well as others on the road.
- Avoid using your cell phone while riding
Using your cell phone while riding is a big no-no. If you hear your phone ringing, it’s better to stop and answer the call rather than picking it up somewhere in the middle of the road. Tucking it into your helmet in an attempt to use your phone ‘hands-free’ while riding isn’t smart either. Many of us think that replying to a WhatsApp message while waiting for the signal to turn green is a good idea. Absolutely not! When on the road, you need to be aware at all times.
- Don’t ever drink and ride
Riding under the influence of alcohol is never a good idea. You’ll either end up paying a fine or in a bad crash. Surely, you’ll never want to be in either of these situations. So, don’t ever mix drinking and riding.
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