Riding a two-wheeler is fraught with risks, and this is especially true for a country like ours. In a population of 1.2 billion, India boasts of being the largest two-wheeler market in the world, and in 2017-18, around 20 million two-wheelers were sold to domestic customers in the country alone. And these include scooters and motorcycles of all kinds and engine displacements, and even mopeds. Naturally, there’s always jostling for space on our roads, and two-wheelers are everywhere, between lanes occupied by cars in cities, in rural areas, and clogged lanes of small towns. On the occasion of International Men’s Day 2018, here’s a look at some good riding habits for two-wheeler riders. This International Men’s Day, please do try to follow some of these basic do’s and don’ts to make you a better man, and a better rider, to make the streets a better place.
Obeying Basic Traffic Rules
More often than not, the basic traffic rules are always disregarded by many two-wheeler riders. Crawling ahead of a stop light, jumping red lights, riding on the wrong side of the road, riding on the pavement, meant for pedestrians – these are only too common on our roads. Not only are these practices inconvenient to other road users, but disregarding basic traffic rules is extremely dangerous as well, both for the rider and other road users. A real gentleman will always stop his two-wheeler before the pedestrian zebra crossing, ride in his designated lane, and respect all stop signs, and stop lights.
Respecting Speed Limits
Speed limits on our roads are there for a reason. And respecting these separate the men from the boys. Almost every day, you can see youngsters weaving in and out of traffic with scant regard for their own safety or to other users on the road. A gentleman will always follow speed limits, always be aware and respectful of other motorists, and be a safe rider. And riding dangerously, way over the speed limits, and riding rashly on public roads, is a sure shot recipe for disaster, putting the rider’s and other motorists’ and pedestrians’ lives in danger as well. If you want to be a better man, please ride safe, and respect the speed limits and other road users.
Wearing Riding Gear
If you ride a two-wheeler, sooner or later, you will have a fall. It’s not a case of ‘if’ but it’s a matter of ‘when’ that happens. A man who wears riding gear is a man who is concerned about his own safety, and also respects the fact that riding gear is insurance against injuries or worse, in case of a fall. Wearing the correct size and quality helmet which is properly fastened is only the first step towards ensuring your own safety. Proper riding gear, from head to toe, will go a long way in keeping you safe. And in case of a crash, or even a minor spill, wearing riding gear may make the difference between a trip to the hospital or worse, and going back home to your loved ones safe and unscathed.
Helping Other Motorists
Chivalry isn’t always about opening the door for a lady. Be chivalrous to other motorists on the road, regardless of sex. A gentleman will always be considerate to give way to others, or use the low beam at night. And if you spot someone struggling with a mechanical problem by the road, be it as simple as a puncture, stopping to offer a helping hand will go a long way in making our roads better, and you, a better rider, on the road.
Taking Care of Your Two-Wheeler
If you ride a two-wheeler, be it a scooter, commuter motorcycle or a premium multi-cylinder sportbike, always take care of your ride. Every once in a while, get the tyre pressure checked, check the oil levels in the engine and brakes, and ensure all electricals are in good working condition. It doesn’t take too long for an evening joyride to end in disaster if you don’t have working headlights, or taillights. Riding a two-wheeler means you have to be visible to other motorists, even from a distance. The always-on headlamps are precisely for this purpose. If you don’t have a working taillight, chances of getting rear-ended go up significantly. And using turn indicators while changing lanes, or taking a turn is a good habit which not only ensures your own personal safety but also gives fair warning to other motorists.
Tyres are your only contact with the ground and good traction is important to stop the bike in case of emergency, and the health of your tyres will also ensure you don’t get stranded with a flat. Lastly, the health of your engine will not only ensure a trouble-free and economical ride, but will also add less emissions to the already fragile environment. Be a gentleman, keep your two-wheeler in the best of health, for your sake and the sake of others.
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