In the latest blog, Wales By Bike is reminding motorcyclists to stay alert on long bank holiday weekend rides, as avoiding fatigue and managing alertness is key to arriving at your destination safely. Even a momentary loss of concentration can have devastating effects when riding a motorcycle.
This time of year often means time off work, travelling, and generally riding for longer periods. However, your safety doesn’t need to suffer; riding fatigue can be easily avoided through simple precautions and by listening to your body.
With fatigue estimated to be a contributory factor in up to 20% of road collisions, these types of crashes unfortunately tend to be high speed impacts resulting in death or serious injury, because a rider or driver who has fallen asleep cannot take avoiding action.
When riding, motorcyclists will be aware that they are starting to feel sleepy, and must act responsibly, making a conscious decision to stop, rest, refuel their bodies and rehydrate.
Collisions involving fatigued riders are most likely to happen:
- on long journeys on monotonous roads, such as motorways
- between 2am and 6am
- between 2pm and 4pm (especially after eating, or taking even one alcoholic drink)
- after having less sleep than normal
- after drinking alcohol/taking drugs
- if taking medicines that cause drowsiness
- after long working hours or on journeys home after long shifts, especially night shifts
To maintain alertness motorcyclists need to plan journeys to include regular rest breaks, of at least 15 minutes every two hours, including a little exercise, a top up of water to boost hydration or even a caffeinated drink. If necessary making an overnight stop can ensure that safety isn’t compromised by fatigue.