Even if there are innovations and advances in motorcycle protective clothing, even the best innovation is not able to prevent a fatal injury to the biker in the event of a collision at normal country road speed. This means: protective clothing or helmet: the greatest potential for a safe ride is on the motorcycle. That's why, at the start of the season, you should not only ensure that your machine is in perfect technical condition, but also make yourself fit and familiar with the bike again.
A study by the German Insurers Accident Research (UDV) concludes that protective clothing with protectors can no longer prevent life-threatening injuries in the event of an impact with an obstacle at speeds of over 25 kilometers per hour. Better are so-called airbag jackets, which can offer safety up to about 50 kilometers per hour or, if this airbag volume is particularly large, up to about 70 kilometers per hour.
Nevertheless, in the event of a collision at highway speed, fatal injuries can hardly be prevented, no matter what protective clothing is worn. This is also confirmed by the head of UDV Siegfried Brockmann. He emphasized, "We must state clearly that no practicable protective clothing is capable of preventing a fatal injury in the event of a collision at usual highway speeds."According to a study, the risk of being killed in an accident, in relation to the kilometers driven, is about 21 times higher with a motorcycle than with a car accident.
Motorcycle fit, protective clothing complete?
This is reason enough to start the new season carefully and with caution. Especially after the winter break, the motorcycle should be checked – possibly also by a specialist workshop. Besides the lighting, the brakes, the tires, the status of the main inspection (TÜV), the steering – it must not have any play – and the emergency stop switch should be checked. It is also important to take a look at the chain, which must have the necessary tension and should be lubricated if necessary.
It may also be necessary to charge the battery, change spark plugs and/or operating fluids such as oils or brake fluid, or adjust the carburetor. A checklist of what to look out for is provided by the safety and motor vehicle monitoring organization Dekra e.V. Online to. Many things can be done by skilled bikers themselves; alternatively, there are various motorcycle repair shops that offer a spring check and repair any existing defects right away.
The protective clothing should also be checked, which in addition to the prescribed helmet should include an appropriate jacket and pants or a complete suit with protectors as well as gloves and boots. By the way: A helmet should be replaced after five to seven years, even if it still looks "like new" and is "crash-free", according to the experts at the Institute for Two-Wheeler Safety (IFZ). Further tips on helmets and protective clothing can be found in the brochure "Motorcycle clothing from head to toe", which can be downloaded from the IFZ.
Practice, become familiar, gain safety
Before the first tour is ridden, one should get reacquainted with the motorcycle after the winter break. Starting, braking and steering exercises as well as the repeated parking of the bike on a practice area are helpful here. The first tour(s) should also not yet be too long and not too demanding – and one should always keep in mind that many other road users do not yet reckon with the two-wheelers on the road.
Safety trainings are also very useful. Under professional guidance, for example, safe cornering, overtaking and braking are trained here. Who offers these trainings, which are subject to a fee, can be found online at the German Road Safety Council e.V. (DVR) can be looked up. More safety tips for motorcyclists are contained in the IFZ brochures "Motorrad fahren – gut& safe", "team touring", "dangerous encounters"; "young& safe", "easy cruising" or "With the offspring on two wheels".
Also recommended is the downloadable brochure "Motorrad fahren – auf sicherer Straße" (Riding a motorcycle on a safe road) published by the DVR and the ADAC!". Important: Other road users should also pay special attention to motorcyclists. Especially in spring, many have not yet gotten used to the fact that motorcycles are now also on the road again. If, for example, a car driver only pays attention to cars and trucks shortly before overtaking or turning onto a road, he or she can easily overlook a motorcycle – often with fatal consequences.