Apart from scanning the road for hazards such as potholes and gravel, riders need to be on the lookout for potential hazards in the traffic.
Motorbike Writer reader Moe Adamson approached us with a number of suggestions for traffic situations that could be particularly hazardous to riders.
We have increased his list to 10 and are asking readers to help build a more comprehensive list of potential hazards.
1 Unsecured loads: Riders should be on the lookout for tradie utes with unsecured loads or big items such as ladders that are only held on with occy straps. Under Queensland law, offenders can be fined $243 and lose demerit points if they do not secure their load. The law should be widened to other states!
2 Hi-ace vans with undermount spare wheels: These wheels are not secured by safety chain and can be bumped out.
3 4×4 tailgate mounted spare: These can often fall off and bounce into the path of a following rider.
4 Wobbly hubcaps: Not only are these likely to come adrift, but they are a good indication of the low standard of upkeep by the motorist which could mean a dangerously unroadworthy vehicle.
5 Trailers: Trailer maintenance is often neglected, leading to seized wheel bearings and wobbly wheels which can cause an accident. Again look out for loads not secured properly, boats not tied down and faulty brake and indicator signals.
6 Weaving and slowing cars: Cars that weave around or slow down for no reason are a good indication that the driver is distracted by their mobile phone, infotainment system, kids fighting in the back seat, pets or something else. The driver could also be drunk, under the influence of a drug or tired.
7 Trucks: Not only do motorcycles disappear in the many blind spots around trucks, but you also need to look out for unsecured loads. Who hasn’t been sandblasted by debris behind a truck? Sand or grit can blind you if your visor isn’t shut. Also, be aware that truck tyres are often retreads and can delaminate, sending dangerous rubber shrapnel flying like in this video.
8 Hire vehicles: These are an indication of a tourist driver who could be from overseas and may wander on to the wrong side of the road! They may also be unfamiliar with the area and suddenly make a dangerous turn they almost missed on their satnav.
9 Uber and taxi drivers: The professional standards of taxi drivers has diminished in recent years. Together with the influx of non-professional Uber drivers, they are to be avoided for their erratic driving.
10 Volo and Camry drivers: Ok, we know this is pigeonholing, but there do seem to be particular brands that attract people who are either lulled into a false sense of security by the vehicle’s safety features or are simply not interested in driving!