Everyone makes mistakes and riders are no exception.  Whether you’re a rookie or a veteran, you’re bound to make mistakes or worse be a victim of someone’s blunder on the road. Some might lead to serious injuries, while others may traumatize you.

Fixing what you can of these mistakes, will help make your riding experience safer and most importantly enjoyable. However in order to avoid these accidents altogether, you first need to check whether you are overlooking the following:

1) - No Pre-Ride Check

While not exactly a part of bike riding per se, a pre ride check is of critical importance. Your motorcycle is a complicated piece of machinery that requires regular maintenance and care. You don’t have to carry out an extensive check every time you go out for a ride, but a basic inspection before every ride should become a second habit. This includes checking air pressure and the condition of the tires, the fluid levels, lights, cables and controls etc.

2) - Trying to Stay Head-to-Head with More Experienced Riders

You should know your driving skills. There is no point in trying to keep up with riders who are more experienced than you. Bravado and being competitive may work in other facets of life, however when riding at 65 miles an hour with hazards everywhere, this may not be a good idea. Competition, and that too entirely unnecessary, can do you more harm than good.  So don’t try to bite more than you can chew.

3) - Not Knowing How to Ride Slow

Riding slow is not easy. It demands a tricky balance between throttle, brake and clutch that only comes with experience. A lot of riders do not bother going through that much trouble to actually master the art of slow riding. That is why you see so many riders duck-walking their bikes through traffic or dragging their feet to maintain balance when riding slow. Both of these can be very dangerous. Walking on the road is never a good idea, and you run the risk of getting stuck in a pothole when dragging. So take the time to learn the art of riding slow, it’ll help you in traffic jams.

4) - Hanging over the Center Line on Left Hand Turns

As bikers, you would know how to safely lean when taking a turn. With practice, pretty much every rider masters the lean. Everything may seem like a walk in the park on straightaways when you have to take a right turn. However when riding the centerline where you have to make a left turn, now that’s a different story. Your head is going to drift into the oncoming lane ergo, making you vulnerable to oncoming traffic. The tires will stay in your lane but your top half will be exposed, which could be dangerous.

 5) - Tailgating

Pretty much every rider has seen this or most likely done it too. Riding too close to the vehicle ahead of you is dangerous. Riding so close together might end up raising the anxiety level of the rider ahead of you, which can lead to potential mistakes. If you are looking to overtake, tailgating is not the way to go. Keep a distance between you and the vehicle in front of you and you can avoid unnecessary trouble.

6) - Thinking That You Are Visible

For some odd reason, bikers always end up in car drivers’ blind spot. No matter how visible your gear is, and no matter how many headlights and taillights you have flashing around you, there is still a very real possibility of you getting hit by a car simply because the driver ‘did not see you’. So as a rider, you always need to assume that you will not be visible to every driver on the road.

7) - Overriding the Range of Your Headlight

This is all about reaction time. Your headlight needs to light up the road in front of you up to a point where you can make a complete stop. If you are going too fast, you will end up beyond that point which could be a recipe for disaster. To avoid this, try and figure out the distance it takes you to come to a complete stop at different speeds and make sure this distance is well within your headlight’s range.

8) - Not Having Regular Maintenance Check-ups

It might not seem like your bike needs a check-up right now, but the wear and tear will eventually start to catch up and cause problems on the road. To avoid this, follow the maintenance steps in your bike’s manual and get the job done on a regular basis. Lubing the chains, changing fluids when needed, changing tires when they need to, changing the oil in the shaft drive etc, are all standard checks you should be on top of.

Mistakes on the road can lead to accidents. No one is perfect on the road, however throwing caution to the wind is downright reckless. In most accidents there are those who unwittingly pay for other’s mistakes. Drive safe and keep others safe.