RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter.
RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter. RACQ CareFlight Rescue

Riders urged to look out and stay alive

WHILE RACQ CareFlight Rescue warns of an alarming spike in the number of injured riders last month, road skills educator Mark Phillips is doing his best to prevent them.

CareFlight Chief Executive Officer Ash van de Velde said last month 18 injured on and off-road bike riders had been airlifted in south-east Queensland - averaging more than one every two days.

Mr Phillips, of RoadSkills Driver and Rider Training, said many on-road crashes come down to rider observation.

He said when it came to safety, it was a motorcyclist's observation skills more so than their riding ability.

He said 72% of crashes on the road were nose to tail - the type of crash may sound like a minor bingle between cars, but Mr Phillips said the consequences for a motorcyclist could be tragic.

"For a motorcyclist that can be fatal."

He said there were key skills he worked to instil in his students.

"I try to get across that you are 30 times more likely to be killed on a public road (than if you were in a car)," he said.

"You don't have to be a statistic, you just have to have much better observation skills (than others on the road).

"It takes no skill to crash.

"If you see things early enough you can change your actions... instead of having a reaction."

Looking ahead and anticipating traffic situations was one way Mr Phillips said he could keep safe while on a bike.

He said scanning an intersection before entering was one thing riders didn't do enough of.

"I'm relaxed (while riding) because I know I'm making myself harder to hit."

He also said for local riders, riding to the conditions of the Gympie region was essential.

He said blind corners, hills, crests, country roads and crossing animals were all hazards for an unsuspecting motorcyclist in the Gympie area.

"(Most riders in a crash say) they didn't see the problem early enough.

"It all comes back to observation skills; not brilliant riding skills."


ROAD safety educator Mark Phillips said as well as lack of observation, these three riding mistakes were commonly to blame for motorcyclists coming a cropper on our roads:

Improper braking.

Improper cornering.

Freezing when faced with a dangerous situation.

HE said to stay safer, riders should remember to do the following:

Look further ahead than the car in front to be aware of up-coming dangerous situations.

When approaching a situation where you may have to slow down, be prepared to brake first as it can significantly reduce the time needed to stop.

If followed too closely near an intersection or area you may have to slow down, engage the brakes early so the brake light flashes.