Riding a two-wheeler on our highways can be very strenuous and exerting sometimes. As much as we enjoy our rides, most Indian roads are not quite two-wheeler friendly. In terms of size, two-wheelers are one of the smallest vehicles on the road but are relatively quick to accelerate. This results in a lot of traffic not noticing them until the last minute. As a rider, when you are pulling over or joining the highway, it is critical that you have assessed all the parameters which will help you to ride safely.
Unless it is an emergency, pulling over while riding on a highway should be calculated well in advance. For instance, one must address the low-fuel warning and then slow down to check for nearby petrol stations instead of noticing it at the last minute and panicking. Be prepared to leave the highway and join the service road in order to access the petrol station. For a smooth pull over, display your indicator long before the exit. Give the traffic sufficient time to acknowledge your actions and make amends. Service lanes usually work two-ways and hence it is imperative that you stop and look for two-way traffic before joining that lane. Once entered, reduce your speed and make your way.
A lot of times, many continue to ride at triple-digit speeds and do not slow down before joining busy roads, which is a disaster waiting to happen. Ease your anxiety if you notice a sign which will result in a pull over. Like a fuel-low warning, a hunger-pang, or for something as simple as checking for directions. Do not pull over in an impulse even if a fellow rider is waving at you. Slow down gradually, find the next highway exit, join the service lane and carefully lead back to where the fellow rider was positioned.
Compared to four-wheelers, two-wheelers can be easily moved to a safe location, away from traffic, in the case of a breakdown. In the event of a mechanical failure, a puncture, or any major reason that requires you to halt and take a look, push the vehicle to a safe spot, away from the road where it’s not obstructing or posing a hazard to traffic. Turn on the hazard lights and make sure you have distanced the two-wheeler and yourself from a potentially dangerous spot. To sum it up - do not stop on highways. Pull over and find a safe spot to park.
Similar to pulling over, joining our highways entails its own risks that can be very unnerving and possibly fatal. Contain the excitement of riding on a highway and do not speed up while you are still in the service lane. Use the indicators wisely to let other users know about your actions. While merging with traffic on the highway, keep your indicator on, check your mirrors, and connect on the left-most lane first. Do not ever jump directly onto the second or the fast lane.
Once you have gathered momentum and attained cruising speed, check the traffic ahead of you, and in your mirrors, before you move to the second lane. It might sound simple, but in the heat of the moment, a lot of us tend to overlook these simple pointers. Stay calm, composed and do not rush. Do not weave through traffic in order to maintain momentum. During the ride, you will come across many empty sections where you can twist the throttle a little more. Even if you don’t, you will live to experience that during your next ride.