A Guide to Driving a Motorbike with Care
As the costs of running a car continue to escalate, more and more drivers are turning to motorbikes as a cheaper alternative.
Not only do two wheels cost less to run, but a bike is also a greener alternative for those concerned about the effect of CO2 emissions - and a
speedier option for those who want to be able to weave through traffic on the way to work.
In fact, recent research suggests there are now around 1.6 million (*) motorbikes on Britain's roads - a figure expected to rise over the next few years.
Beware the perils of two-wheeled transport
Despite this increase in popularity, motorcyclists still make up just 1 per cent of total road traffic (**) - yet account for nearly a fifth of the UK's road user
Not all accidents are fatal, but there's no escaping the fact that motorcyclists are more likely to be involved in an accident than car drivers.
What are the common factors?
When it comes to road accidents that involve injury to motorcyclists, there are five common factors (***):
â€¢	Failure to look properly at junctions and roundabouts.
â€¢	Loss of control.
â€¢	Failure to judge another person's path or speed accurately.
â€¢	Being careless, reckless or in a hurry.
â€¢	Making poor turns or manoeuvres.
Top safety tips
As a biker, it is vital you take the necessary precautions on the road, and that you remain vigilant at all times.
Make yourself visible by riding with your lights on, and ensure you are always wearing protective clothing, such as a helmet, jacket, boots and gloves -
even if you're only making a short trip.
"Slow down as you approach bends," says Simon Douglas from AA Motorcycle Insurance. "Accelerate out, but make sure you keep to the speed limit.
Accelerate and brake smoothly, and take extra care in the wet."
Monitor your riding at all times, and think about your speed, road position and distance from other traffic.
"Be aware of your environment and watch out for potential hazards, such as cars pulling out and damaged road surfaces