confident owl driving a motorcycle wearing a helmet

Tactics for Surviving as a Motorcyclist

Here is some helpful advice from the RSA, as part of the rules for motorcyclists:

  • Watch your surroundings. Watching your surroundings means watching: into the far, middle and near distance; and behind you, using your mirrors and checking over your shoulders, before changing position or turning.
  • Keep your distance. Use the ‘two second rule’ (Keep a safe headway by ensuring you are at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front. This is known as the ‘two-second rule’). In wet or icy conditions, always leave a bigger gap.
  • Be seen. Make sure your position is correct. Use dipped headlights and wear high visibility clothing (such as a neon vest and ‘Sam Browne*’ reflective belt).
  • Do not surprise others. Never do anything on the road that could cause another road user to slow down, brake or swerve or that could startle pedestrians.
  • Think like other road users. Anticipate how other road users might react.
  • Read the road. In other words, ride to current road, weather and traffic conditions.
  • Adopt the right speed for the conditions. Never let others dictate your pace.
  • Never ride your bike after consuming alcohol or drugs.
  • Trust your machine by maintaining it properly. Follow the acronym POWDERS and check Petrol, Oil, Water, Damage, Electrics, Rubber (tyres) and Security.

*What is the purpose of a Sam Browne belt?
Browne came up with the idea of wearing a second belt that went over his right shoulder to hold the scabbard steady. This would hook into a waist belt with D-rings for attaching accessories. It also securely carried a pistol in a flap-holster on his right hip and included a binocular case with a neck-strap.


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