Motorcycle dangers are everywhere when you’re out on the bike!
Every time you head down the open road, there are threats coming at you.
Some days it’s like trying to ride through a real life video game.
All that’s missing is the loud beeping noises and animated explosions.
If you’re a biker, you’re pretty used to riding around all the dangers on the road.
But have you ever sat down and thought about how many of them are out there?
Motorcycle dangers are all around you when you’re out riding.
From car drivers too busy doing their makeup or texting to watch the road, to maniacs on skateboards and roller skates.
Then there are angry cyclists and suicidal pedestrians.
There are plenty of motorcycle dangers waiting for you out there…
Let’s take a look at the top 10 hazards we see all the time when roaring through the world on two wheels.
10 Motorcycle Dangers to Look Out For
1. Car drivers
Let’s start with the most obvious, and probably the most dangerous, shall we?
Yep, car drivers.
They get the gold medal for easily being the biggest motorcycle danger.
That’s because there are drivers who:
- Sit at green traffic lights putting on lipstick.
Meantime the line of cars behind them are going crazy with fury.
And it’s so fun riding alongside homicidally angry drivers, isn’t it?
- Text instead of watching the road.
That’s like driving with your eyes closed.
Just a little bit dangerous.
- Take it as a personal insult when you overtake them.
So they try and catch up with you, setting off a high speed car chase.
That’s only fun in the movies.
- Change lanes without indicating.
Lucky you have ESP and can see that coming, right?
- Reverse without looking behind them first.
Why bother glancing in the rear view mirror?
It’ll probably be fine.
- Turn across the road in front of you, in a tiny gap in the traffic.
That’s when your ABS comes in handy.
It’d be nice to see some cops policing these outrageously dangerous moves.
They’re busy pulling you over for exceeding the speed limit by 3 miles an hour.
2. Rogue pedestrians
With the worldwide addiction to phones, people never look at the world around them when out walking.
Most pedestrians can no longer cross the street without texting at the same time.
They wander over crosswalks, LOL-ing at a hilarious text that they can’t possibly wait another 20 seconds to read.
How many times have you had to stop suddenly, or swerve quickly, when a pedestrian steps off the curb without even looking up?
You’d think a pedestrian’s first priority would be to make it to the other side of the street still alive.
But it seems not.
Here in New Zealand, bicycles are a kind of cult.
Not because they’re a cheap way to get from A to B.
Around here, they’re seen as the ultimate environmental solution.
Bicycles will apparently save the entire world.
They’ll fix every problem from plastic in the ocean to logging in the Amazon rainforest.
No, it doesn’t make sense, but that doesn’t matter.
In the meantime, cyclists are smug about being a protected species.
That might explain why they ignore all road rules.
Traffic light colors don’t apply to them, as they pedal through a red light without even pausing.
Because they’re saving the world by riding a bicycle, they naturally have right of way.
It hardly matters what the rest of the traffic’s doing.
And if you see 10 of them out for a group ride, prepare for your blood pressure to skyrocket.
They happily spread out across the whole lane, chatting and laughing as they dominate the road.
The rest of the traffic has to crawl along behind them at 10 mph.
They don’t pay a cent to use the road.
But here in New Zealand, motorcyclists have to fork out $500 a year just to register a motorcycle.
And bikers also have to follow the road rules.
But the erratic behavior of cyclists is not the only motorcycle danger they present.
They’re also absolutely shameless about riding around in public with their family jewels sharply outlined in lycra.
It’s hard to keep your motorcycle upright when you’ve just gouged your own eyes out in horror.
4. Recumbent bikes
These contraptions are such a menace that they deserve a category of their own.
You may have seen them on the roads too.
These are the bikes that people ride while lying down like they’re on a damn beach recliner.
If you want to lie down, fine – stay on the couch.
Or go to the beach.
Don’t try to tangle with fast moving traffic while moving very slowly at ankle height.
Some of these beach recliner cycles have a cute little flag flying behind them.
That’s partly a proud style feature, and partly to increase visibility.
But here’s a newsflash: a tiny little flag won’t help people to see you as you’re inching along at ground level.
What a crazy notion to try to share the road while lying down.
5. Road works
Here in New Zealand, road works take forever to complete.
The pace is slower than an extra lazy snail who needs another nap.
And it seems that most of the country’s roads are being dug up, repaired, or widened for…
You guessed it.
More cyclist paths.
That’s pretty annoying in itself.
But it’s also inconvenient and more dangerous as you try to negotiate:
- Traffic cones strewn all over the road
- Lines of cars that are not sure which detour they have to take today
- New pot holes that have opened up because all the traffic is smashing just one of the available lanes, and
- Temporary traffic lights that take so long to change you wonder whether they’re broken.
I actually feel sorry for all the depressed looking road workers in their high vis outfits.
They’ll have to stand around in the rain on the same spot for the next two years and try not to get run over.
All these delays lead to much angrier traffic.
Yep, another motorcycle danger takes shape.
6. Electric scooters
Those little electric scooters that have suddenly appeared like a plague of locusts in cities everywhere are another kind of motorcycle danger.
Teenagers with no driver’s license and zero road experience think these scooters are very cool.
Who cares if they don’t know how to control them?
They’re having a lot of fun weaving in and out of traffic on these wildly dangerous machines they’ve hired for 10 minutes with daddy’s credit card.
Oooh, the thrill of being in actual traffic instead of the back seat of the family station wagon.
I have to wonder whether skateboarders on the road have a death wish.
They coast alongside fast-moving cars and motorcycles.
And yet – they wear no safety gear.
They’re often in shorts and a t-shirt.
And they’re always, always, ALWAYS plugged into a pair of earbuds.
They mostly watch their feet rather than the traffic around them.
That means they can’t see, they can’t hear, and they can’t stop.
I hope they have their affairs in order.
But they probably don’t because they’re 19 and too busy on Tik Tok.
8. Roller skaters
Just today we were out on the motorcycle, keeping our eyes peeled for the usual hazards.
And then we experienced an all-new motorcycle danger.
A guy on roller blades cruising along a main road.
Not on the sidewalk.
Not along the beachfront in California.
In actual traffic here in New Zealand.
He was taking up the entire lane, swooping from left to right, hands clasped behind his back, like he was training for a fantasy Olympics.
Except he was doing about 2 miles an hour.
He was tricky to overtake, as you might clip him mid-swoop.
But impossible to stay behind, because the motorcycle doesn’t go that slow.
Someone else with a death wish, I guess, and with zero consideration for the danger he’s putting other people in.
9. Other motorcyclists
Isn’t it depressing when the motorcycle danger comes from other bikers?
How many times have you been suddenly overtaken without warning by a reckless motorcyclist who zooms past at the speed of light on a blind corner? Or watched a biker get more and more impatient when stuck behind a truck, and so he overtakes it illegally and dangerously?
Riding like you’re on a race track rather than a public road just makes the rest of the traffic furious.
And then everyone starts driving aggressively.
It’s savagely ironic that another bike would represent a potentially serious motorcycle danger.
We’re supposed to be on the same side, right?
10. Internal factors
Not all motorcycle dangers are already out there waiting for you on the road.
Some of them you bring with you to the ride.
There are many ways to ride more dangerously than you need to.
For example, you might be:
- Too distracted to focus
- Feeling under the weather
- Too hot or too cold
- Going too fast
- Too tired to ride safely, but pushing yourself anyway, or
- Starting to lose your temper in heavy peak hour traffic.
These are just some of the dozens of variables that can affect your ability to concentrate and make good decisions.
You really don’t need to be a danger to yourself – in addition to all the other threats out there.
Motorcycle dangers are always waiting
It reminds me of swimming in the ocean when I lived in Australia.
There’s probably a shark around somewhere.
You might see it coming; you might not.
You hope it won’t take a bite out of you, and you’ll get back safely to the beach.
But you can do more than hope for the best on a motorcycle.
You can stay alert and ride to the conditions, for a start.
And you’ll also need to look out for all the obstacles that can make riding a motorcycle more dangerous than it has to be.
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