Heads up! Avoiding Debris

In the unfortunate video linked HERE where the screenshot above is from, you will see the motorcyclist was not able to stop in time, hitting that unidentified bundle that fell of the back of the trailer.

To make matters worse, the rider was wearing shorts. We can’t tell if he’s wearing gloves but we definitely know that if he had been wearing some gear, it would definitely help when he did that tuck and roll. Hopefully he walked away with only road rash. In Singapore’s tropical climate however, not everybody is keen on wearing a motorcycle jacket or the basic appropriate gear. Hell, some still prefer flip flops!

Most days some would argue that it works but I have had a few friends get into wrecks, ending up with really bad injuries on their feet, some have lost toes as well. If anyone thinks losing even a small toe is fine and wants to risk it ( doesn’t that sound preposterous!) even the smallest toes are vital to balancing for us who walk on 2 legs.

The bigger question are his riding habits. Was he too close to the trailer? Did he have put in enough braking pressure? But he didn’t skid, so was he or was he not putting in enough brake?

One key factor is to know your distances. Braking and following distances, as apparent in the case of the video. Trailers tend to swing when the tyres lock up in braking. That is an extremely common occurrence you will see along West Coast when the heavy vehicles and tractor trailers brake hard to avoid running red light cameras or to shed speed when the cops are around. Lines of sight also matter and they do not see motorcycles coming up right beside them very well. The best approach? Avoid when possible and do not even split next to them, even at red lights if you risk being caught up in narrow spaces next to cars.

ABS would also help but many have the wrong impression of ABS, which while helping you shed speed, allows you to SWERVE around the hazard and avoid locking up your tyres as you do so. This is explained during defensive riding courses at our driving centres or even found online if you are bored enough to google it.

Our riding habits often get us into risky zones without us even thinking of it. Splitting lanes is allowed here although it is frowned upon in other countries but deviating from the norm, you will see some guys splitting between the cars and barriers on the first lane. Drivers are already looking out for motorcyclists on the left but having motorcycles on the right and against the barrier is worse. Especially if the motorcyclist is flung off in a crash, he or she carries an even greater risk of ending up on the opposite side, becoming sitting ducks for traffic in the opposite direction. Lane discipline should be of utmost especially in corners but we see other riders weaving lanes on bends where the apex lies ahead of other cars and you never know what to expect. Many motorcyclists from across the border seem to favour this, with their “get home asap” mentality, they make manoeuvres that make the hair on the back of Evil Kneivel neck  stand.

Weighted decisions make a difference.

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