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Learner bike drivers - Defensive riding tips for motorcycle drivers

BikeSafe is an initiative run by Police Forces around the United Kingdom who work with the whole of the biking world to help to lower the number of motorcycle rider casualties. Bikesafe publishes information for bike drivers.

Following are some driving test tips for motorcycle drivers.

You may find these tips helpful if you are learning to drive or preparing for your motorcycle practical test.

Junctions -

The most common accident type was another vehicle crossing the motorcyclist's path to enter or leave a side road or private drive. At roundabouts, the most common accident type was another vehicle entering the roundabout in the path of a motorcyclist already on the roundabout. Over 1 in 5 of all motorcycle accidents was of this type, where the motorcyclist had right of way.


  1. Plan ahead on approaching junctions
  2. Be aware of vehicles waiting to enter the main road, or approaching it along a side road, and be prepared to stop and take evasive action.
  3. In urban areas look out for vehicles emerging from driveways.
  4. Anticipate the presence of drives/side roads concealed from view by bends, vegetation, or vehicles ahead.
  5. Ensure that you are visible as possible to other drivers:
  6. As narrow vehicles, motorcyclists can easily be overlooked, and can be completely hidden from view by intervening lamp columns, telegraph poles etc. along the other drives line of sight.
  7. Choose appropriate speeds on approaches to junction. A driver emerging from a side road, cannot give way to a motorcyclist who cannot yet be seen, but which appears at high speed before the manoeuvre is completed. This is particularly applicable to slow moving goods vehicles or farm vehicles.

Overtaking -

About 1 in 5 of motorcyclist accidents involve overtaking. Almost 1 in 3 of the overtaking accidents involved motorcyclists passing stationary or slow moving vehicles e.g. in traffic queues, where the most common accident type was another vehicle turning right (either into or out of a side road or private drive) or U turning, across the motorcyclists path. In other overtaking accidents, the commonest accident type was when the overtaken vehicle turned right as he motorcyclist was overtaking.


  1. Be as visible as possible to other drivers.
  2. Anticipate that other drivers may not have seen you and be prepared for their actions.
  3. Do not overtake near side roads or where cars may emerge from private drives/accesses; or do so with caution.
  4. Be aware of oncoming vehicles which may turn right across your path.


About 1 in 4 of motorcycle accidents occurred on bends.


  1. Ensure speed is appropriate to negotiate bend without losing control, taking account of road surface condition.
  2. Anticipate hazards which may be concealed by the bend and be able to stop in time to avoid them.

General riding

Many of the riders involved in accidents were not driving appropriately for the conditions, especially with regard to speed (in 1 in 4 of the accidents excess speed was a contributory factor).

Drivers of vehicles are often unaware of a motorcyclist's presence. It is necessary for motorcyclists to become 'defensive' drivers in order to avoid becoming casualties.

Theory test booking with DSA :

Theory test appointments can be booked, and subject to three clear working days notice, be changed and cancelled using our online booking service.