Motorcycle riders are always at risk of crashing, but there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of serious injury or death. Here are some motorcycle crash techniques that could save your life. Some of the tips in this blog are entirely dependent on the situation you come face to face with. Further, these tips won’t prevent any crashes, but can help keep your injuries minimal. With that being said, here are some motorcycle crash techniques that can help save your life.
In some crash situations, you may not have time to swerve out the way or put the brakes on. Sometimes, the traffic and oncoming danger simply comes your way in the blink of an eye. This is very rare, and not the best advice for other crash scenarios, but in case you must, it may be best to do an emergency dismount. This practice is done by enduro racers and off-road bikes, even by jockeys. In very small cases, this technique can be applied to on-road motorcycle rider crashes. The main concept is to launch yourself from the pegs of your bike and let your bike take the brunt of the crash. This leaves you to land on the vehicle that may have hit you or even landed in the grass on the side of the road. This technique is very dangerous, so it is best to be done only in the most necessary situations.
Low Side With Purpose
Majority of riders know about the importance of low side crashing. Nobody wants to low side. However if you must, there is a technique to low side crashing that can help prevent extreme injuries that usually happen with these types of crashes. When someone low sides, that means they lose control of both tires and they and the bike fall over on the side. This can cause injuries such as broken legs, road rash and broken arms/wrists. This is because instead of your bike taking the brunt of the beating, your body is—and even worse there is the high likelihood of you being pinned beneath your motorcycle. If you’re ever in a lowside crash, what you can do to help keep the injuries minimal is to try and fall the opposite way of the bike, so that you don’t get trapped beneath the machine. Another tactic is to let the handlebars take the pressure of the road, instead of your body, this also helps you not get stuck underneath the bike.
Many stunt riders will learn how to properly fall. While the average rider isn’t a stunt artist, borrowing some of their techniques can actually be super helpful if you ever have a little blip while on the road. If you’ve ever seen an (unfortunate) MotoGP crash, you will notice the racers fall a certain way–they relax their bodies, accept the crash is happening, tuck in their arms and try to slide/roll out the inertia of the crash as best as they can. You normally don’t get the choice in how you crash and fall off a bike. However, for the small chance you get to take some slight control of your body, the best tip in falling correctly, is to relax your body. This sounds strange, but if you’re trying to stop yourself by being stiff or sticking an arm out to break your fall—you’re more likely to break something.
Try Not To Panic
Don’t get me wrong, I know how hard it is to not freak out when you’re in a motorcycle accident. But panicking during a crash can lead you to make not the best decisions. One of the first things riders learn in motorcycle safety courses is to not panic. If a road obstacle comes out of nowhere, you should know by now to either have an emergency escape lane/path, brake gradually but efficiently or even just go over it as best as you can. However, these maneuvers would be pretty hard to do if you allow yourself to panic–as you would probably panic-break or highside from losing control. When you’re on a motorcycle, unfortunately, we cannot allow ourselves that kind of privilege. Our minds need to consistently be attentive to our surroundings and ourselves.
Avoid Target Fixation
Target fixation occurs when a person becomes so focused on a singular object that they lose situational awareness and tend to ride (or drive) straight into it. Another important concept riders learn when first starting out, is that your eyes lead you to where you want to go. If you’re fixated on one thing, it’s more than likely that you will crash into it, especially on turns. We’re so used to riding on straight stretches of road that when a bend or turn happens, we lose our focus on what we’re doing and can crash into whatever is right in front of us. It’s best to practice being present both physically and mentally, while on your bike. Always look at where you want to go, and don’t let the monotony of the road make you zone out.
The best way to avoid a motorcycle crash is to never get on one in the first place. But if you must, follow these five tips to minimize the risk of serious injury or death. You should always wear a DOT-compliant helmet and proper riding gear. Secondly, never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol—this is the worst thing you can do. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and follow the law—riding smart can help prevent crashes in general. By following these simple tips, you can make riding a motorcycle a safe and enjoyable experience.
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