Staying Relaxed: The Key to Safe Motorcycling.

Your emotions while riding a motorcycle can have a serious effect on driving ability and your chances of having an accident. If you are sad, the chances of crashing are ten times as high. Negative emotions such as anger or anxiety are the fourth leading cause of distracted driving, behind reading, checking a mobile phone and being intoxicated. If you want to maintain safe riding practices, then you need to take control of your emotions. Being relaxed, but not complacent, is the key to safe motorcycling.

The Effects of Anger on Driving Ability.

All motorists will occasionally experience some degree of anger and irritation while driving. However, for bikers, the consequences could be worse than you think. A car cutting you off is far more dangerous for the bike than the car. However, overcoming anger when driving is vital for maintaining safety on the road. Research suggests that it is not the feeling of anger which is dangerous, but rather the expression of it.

So if you feel yourself becoming angry, try not to show it. There is a time and a place for releasing anger, and on a high speed vehicle is definitely not the place. Honking the horn, angry gestures and aggressive throttle control might all seem like tempting ways to show your contempt for other drivers. But what do they actually achieve? Remember, you are angry because someone’s driving made you unsafe. Since safety is your top concern, resist the temptation of a childish outburst, take a deep breath and continue on at a safe and steady speed.

Overcoming Fear

Anger is not the only negative emotion that can affect safety. Fear of being on the road is common among new riders, as well as anyone who has been in an accident. Overconfidence can lead to complacency and is therefore dangerous, so don’t worry if there is a little bit of fear. This just keeps you alert and encourages cautious driving.

However, if the anxiety becomes too much, you could become a danger to yourself. Consider what it is that is making you afraid. A common cause of fear is corners on the road. In this situation, slow down and approach with caution. Even those who are scared might be tempted to ride quickly to get it over and done with, but slowing down will decrease the risk of a crash.

Monitor your body language as you ride. If you are tensed up, your acceleration and braking will be erratic. Try to adopt a relaxed stance. This will encourage smoother riding and also trick your brain into feeling more relaxed. If anxiety is becoming a danger on the road, consider taking more lessons until you regain your confidence. Always wear full protection to gain a greater feeling of security when driving.

It is thought that a third of accidents wouldn’t have occurred if all distractions were removed from the vehicle. On a bike, it is easier to maintain focus since both your hands are full. However, your emotional state could be having an effect. Take deep breaths and don’t let anger or anxiety get the better of you. This will help ensure that you continue to enjoy motorcycling without encountering danger.

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