Other Factors

Distraction

image of cell phone while driving

  • Full attention is needed to be safe on the road. Car drivers commonly use cell phones and other mobile devices; they can be eating or talking to passengers; they may be taking medication. It is up to you to be focused on your task to make up for the distracted behavior of others. Assume others are distracted or inattentive and do not see you. You can do this only by not being distracted or inattentive yourself. It is important to always be mindful of collision traps.

Fatigue

  • Fatigue as a factor in crashes has been increasing. Being fatigued or drowsy raises your risk. Perhaps you had a poor night’s sleep or an especially difficult day at work. When you are tired, your senses are not as sharp. You will not be as likely to see or recognize potential hazards. Your decision-making is slowed. Your physical actions are not as quick or as accurate. You will need more time and space to see and more-than-usual safety margins. A wise rider will stop for a rest.

Emotions

  • It is not easy to determine the effects of emotions on riding. But feeling angry, troubled, or stressed makes safe riding more difficult. Any emotion that keeps you from using a safety strategy will increase risk. Make an honest assessment of your riding priorities, and keep safety top-of-mind.

Being overconfident can lead to aggressive riding. You could put yourself in a situation that requires more skill than you have or more performance than your motorcycle can provide. Having too little confidence can delay decisions. It is important to have the self-awareness and foresight to confidently make decisions that reduce risk so you can take charge of your own safety. Be realistic about your capabilities and limitations as well as what your motorcycle can and cannot do. This way, you can make better, safer decisions in the moments of choice.

Aging

  • You want to enjoy motorcycling to the fullest for many years. Know how aging affects you so you can correct or compensate as needed. Getting older usually brings wisdom and better judgment, but aging affects health as well as many of the important physical tasks for safe riding. For example, your night vision is poorer, overall strength decreases, and reaction time increases. It is important to stay fit and healthy to enjoy all aspects of life, but because motorcycling is demanding, you should take special steps. Keep up with eye and physical exams. Know if medications affect your skill and perception. Take note when others comment on changes in your riding ability.