WITH light at the end of the lockdown tunnel, road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is keen to reduce motorcycle casualties as the new riding season gains momentum.
According to GEM a key issue is for riders to focus on boosting their skill and knowing their limits.
At the same time GEM is urging other road users to improve their observation in an attempt to reduce the number of motorcycle collisions.
There were 336 motorcycle fatalities in 20191, a five per cent fall on the previous year, but still accounting for 19 per cent of all road deaths.
Motorcyclists make up less than three per cent of vehicles on the UK's roads, so the disproportionately high figure shows how risky motorcycling can be.
GEM chief executive Neil Worth said: "If Covid-19 restrictions continue to be reduced, we anticipate large numbers of riders wanting to make up for lost time in 2020. Most will ride sensibly and responsibly, but some are likely to take unnecessary risks.
"There's a lot of satisfaction to be gained from riding a motorcycle with skill and precision. But if you're riding at speed, there is no margin for error if you - or another road user near you - gets something wrong.
"This year, more than ever, we're encouraging riders to give themselves an all-important ‘skills MOT' during this early part of the season.
"But we're also urging drivers and pedestrians to make a special point of looking out for motorcyclists, especially at junctions where riders are particularly at risk."
GEM has produced five ‘lifesaver' safety tips and reduce the risk of being involved in a collision:
1. If you've had your bike in the garage for the winter, ensure it's serviced, tax, insured and road legal before you take it out.
2. Use the start of the riding season to invest in a refresher day with a training professional. Search online for motorcycle training days or consult your local club or advanced motorcyclists' group.
3. Ensure self-preservation is your priority. The predominant cause of motorcycle crashes is the failure of car drivers to detect and recognise motorcycles in traffic. So wear high visibility clothing on all journeys, and ride in a way that gives others a better chance of seeing you.
4. Don't ride beyond your comfort zone, especially if you're riding in a group. If your friends are cornering too quickly for you, let them go and join them at the next junction.
5. Try not to dwell on your errors. Plan well ahead, anticipate the next hazards. When you stop for a break, reflect on anything that didn't go to plan, ask what you have learnt and how you can reduce the chance of the same thing happening again.