Falling off a bike is dangerous at any speed and can happen without warning, leaving you without time to think. But there are a few reflex methods that could make a huge difference in the moment – here are our top tips to minimise injury and get back on the bike earlier.
Stay on the bike
Your bike is built to hit the road more than you are, plus if you’re sliding it will help absorb some of the impact if you end up hitting something ahead. Try to avoid slamming on the brakes beyond the bike’s slowing capabilities. You’ll buy yourself precious time to select your crash point, then you can aim for the spot best suited for impact.
Take the fall
This is only recommended if you there’s no way you’re going to stay on your bike. But if you feel the bike falling, let it fall – there are still a few things you can do.
It’s human instinct to try to grab on to something when you’re falling. But you can severely damage your wrists if you reach out with your hands. So if you’re about to tip off your bike, try for a tuck and roll instead. Pull your knees into your chest, cross your arms over them and tuck your head down to your chest.
If you’re already sliding or coming off your bike near the ground, a controlled roll is going to be your best go-to. Place your arms over your head and keep your legs straight, allowing your body to roll until it stops on its own.
It sounds difficult, but could make the biggest difference. Luckily, we’re hardwired with a fight or flight response – a physiological reaction to a potentially harmful event – that will help you in the moment.
The best thing you can do is concentrate, stay present and be aware of your surroundings.
After the fall
You fell off your bike, and your confidence probably took a tumble with it. But that’s ok.
Make sure your bike and equipment are all up to scratch. You may need to take your bike into a mechanic to make sure any invisible, yet critical, damage is repaired.
To soothe the nerves and ease back in, plan a short ride in an area that feels familiar to you. Try to avoid situations that immediately bring back the crash and remind yourself that it may take time to regain your riding skills.
But most importantly, gear up – feeling protected is your greatest confidence booster.
Falling off your motorcycle is never a good experience, but if it happens, motorbike insurance from Swann will at least cushion the impact on your wallet.