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ContiMoto Safety Tips: How to Avoid Accidents (Part 1)

Rider’s Responsibility

We must always know that riding a motorcycle involves risk and therefore all the factors that increase its safety are very important, as even the smallest detail can cause an accident. So we must be very attentive to all aspects that have to do with riding technique, the maintenance of the motorcycle, the condition of the tires, the movements of other riders or drivers, and the state of the roads or streets on which we ride. Lowering the risk is not difficult, you just have to follow the rules and responsibility required by riding your motorcycle on the road.

It is not enough to follow the rules of the road, even strictly, since in day-to-day riding there are hundreds of variables that can put your survival at risk. If we follow some guidelines or protocol on a daily basis, safety will increase and can reduce that risk to almost zero.

The most common causes of traffic accidents with motorcycles involved can be varied. However, most of these accidents happen in cities and the fatality rates are three times higher than those on the road. The reason for this large difference is the greater volume of vehicles and obstacles per square meter. In the city, even in the same direction of travel, dozens of cars, buses, trucks and vans are concentrated around us. In addition, one after the other, there are intersections with or without traffic lights, and as if that were not enough, pedestrians coexist with the rest of the vehicles and roads. Within this swarm, motorcyclists can be unaware of their vulnerability, since in addition to being surrounded by this massive volume of traffic, they can make mistakes without being aware of how risky their situation can be.

Not maintaining a safe distance, placing themselves in the middle of the vehicle in front of them, in addition to quickly passing between lanes, are actions that are very risky and that in any eventuality, the probability of impact and fall is multiplied by 10, since it will be very difficult to react in time and with few ways of escape. Visibility from inside cars is poor, especially if they are followed by a smaller object moving much faster than the car. This must be emphasized often, because the driver of the car, even if he wants to be cautious and mark his maneuvers with his turn signals, may not see a motorcyclist. Tiredness, the consumption of alcoholic beverages or simply thinking about something other than riding itself can cause a loss of concentration and consequently, a lack of attention to what is going on around us. If in addition to being in this situation, your speed is too high and your motorcycle and tires are unmaintained, the probabilities of going to the hospital are very high.

How to Resolve the Situation?

A typical collision between a car and a motorcycle moving in the same direction of travel can be easily avoided. When you are riding behind a car with intense traffic, the general speed flow is not always the same. Often when the speed of the cars decreases, the motorcycle overtakes them and the driver of the car will often suddenly change to another lane. In this situation, the motorcyclist must always anticipate this action simply because it is common.

In the event that this happens, the motorcyclist should never stare at the car that is blocking his way, but should immediately look for free spaces to avoid it. Remember that if you look at the problem, you go to the problem, therefore if you look at the free space of salvation, you go to the free space and you will avoid a crash. It is very important in this case to put yourself in the mind of the driver of the car. If you do so, you will be surprised to find that in most cases you will guess the maneuver.

Speed is also a very important factor in this case. You have to match the speed of the other vehicles. If you go much faster than the rest, in the same traffic flow, the probability of an accident increases. The car changing lanes does it at a slower speed than the motorcycle, therefore, avoiding hitting the car will only be possible through hard braking while avoiding the car, a very difficult task to perform and control.

You should also be aware that there are always blind spots where a driver cannot see around them. This position is located at the rear sides of the car. If we are located in that space, the driver of the car will be unable to see that we are there, and will certainly change lanes without noticing your existence. Therefore, you should always avoid riding in a car’s blind spot.


In addition to following all these tips, if you also keep a daily protocol before leaving home, you will significantly increase your safety in the saddle. This daily safety check will depend on how often you ride your motorcycle or scooter and it does not matter if the vehicle is new or old. The fact that your motorcycle is new is no guarantee that something is not in place. If you ride every day, the check will only be necessary every two weeks and if you ride once every two weeks, you should always do these checks before every ride.

What should be checked are: that the lights and indicators work all and with intensity, visibility of the mirrors, check the fluid level of both front and rear brakes, the tension of the levers, the engine oil level, water level of the radiator, leaks by the seals of the suspension, and especially the condition and pressures of the tires. Any deficiency in any of these elements can cause loss of control and consequently a scare or at worst, an accident.

By Road

Accidents on long roads or highways have different causes than in cities. Although the volume of traffic is lower, it is also necessary to respect the safety distance. In most cases, accidents are caused by inappropriate overtaking and lack of visibility, drifting into the opposite lane in curves, loss of grip and control due to a miscalculated speed, miscalculation of distances, and poor road and tire conditions.

Accidents due to mechanical failures are often found to be a lower percentage, especially when daily checks are made. The data reaffirms the idea that in most accidents the motorcyclist himself is responsible for the accident.

Group Outings

You should always be extremely careful on a group ride and never ride out of your comfort zone. A common situation that often ends badly is the irresponsible riding of one or more of the members of a group of bikers or the clash of a crazy person with another group. Many of you will go out with groups to enjoy a morning of curves, and in some situations it is easily forgotten that the group outing has to be responsible and organized.

If the members of the group know each other, let the ones with the fastest pace ride in front so that there is no overtaking without a safe margin. The typical “let me pass, I’m going faster than you” is unneeded, calm down and always keep in mind the safety of everyone else on the ride. Whatever you have to discuss can be done when you stop. Never try to speak to the others on the road, it usually ends badly.

A good alternative here can be a group headset or hand signals. Another risky situation is to try to go fast on a road you do not know. Knowledge of the road and your skill level is absolutely vital. If the route is familiar, you will already know the blind or dangerous parts of the road, and in that case you can control the speed of each section. If not, when in doubt, do not improvise and reduce the speed. Avoid getting too close together, because if one of you goes off the line, the rest will be immediately behind and could cause an accident. Be aware that a road is not a track. If the “fast rider” of the day gets the desire to be a MotoGP rider or Street Rossi and wants to show off to the rest of the group, advise him to test himself against the real riders on a circuit at a track day. The road should never be considered a racing venue.

We hope these tips are helpful and keep you safe each time you get on the saddle and enjoy the love of riding motorcycles. Stay tuned for more tips on the Continental Motorcycle blog and stay safe and always enjoy the love of the ride.

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