Top ways to ensure motorbike safety

The popularity of motorbikes is growing. Whether it's the sense of freedom of being out on the open road, or the flexibility associated with this type of vehicle, more people are choosing two wheels to make their journeys.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that between 2009 and 2014, the number of motorcycles on the nation's roads has increased 25 per cent. This means there are now an estimated 780,174 bikes throughout the country – and the trend is showing little sign of slowing down.

As with any vehicle, being safe on the road should take priority for any motorbike user. Here are some top tips to make sure you're always putting safety first and minimising the chance of making a bike insurance claim.

Invest in the right safety gear

You could have taken out a motorcycle loan on the safest model in the world, but if you're not wearing the right kit, this will still be dangerous. The Motorcycle Council of New South Wales (MCofNSW) recommends buying the following items to minimise and prevent the impact of a collision:

• Helmet
• Gloves
• Impact protectors
• Jackets and pants specifically designed to be worn on a motorbike

Figures from the MCofNSW show that although most motorcyclists will wear a jacket and helmet, they are less inclined to wear boots, pants or gloves. Having a well-rounded wardrobe is essential if you're going to stay safe out on the road.

Have the right helmet

One of the most crucial items is the helmet, which will protect your head in the event of an accident. There is no understating the importance of protective headgear.

Data from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development shows that as many as 10 per cent of motorcyclists involved in collisions were not wearing a helmet. A further 20 per cent were wearing one, but it hadn't been fitted properly.

Know the rules of the road

Brushing up on your road knowledge could be just what you need to improve your personal safety. Rules often change over time, so it is worthwhile updating your knowledge now and again to make sure you always stay on the right side of the law.

For example, Queensland introduced new regulations on February 1 this year to simplify rules and bring in stricter helmet standards. Lane filtering was brought into force to make it easier for riders to manoeuvre in slow moving traffic.

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