Whether you’re superstitious or not, Friday the 13th is expected to be a bad day for motorcycle crashes; not because of the date, but the day. A Youi insurance claims accident frequency study found most collisions (16%) occurred on Fridays and were most likely to happen between the peak periods of 8am – 9am and 3pm – 6pm. Fridays afternoons are dangerous because people are keen to get home from the week’s work. Motorists are also more likely to have had a drink or two. So riders need to take extra care on a Friday to avoid those motorists driving fast and erratically and take extra precautions with extra buffer space. Motorcyclists can reduce their crash risk by taking time to prepare themselves and their motorbike for the journey, says RACQ executive manager technical and safety policy Steve Spalding. Steve Spalding “It’s important motorcyclists remind themselves about how vulnerable they are in a crash and the need to ride defensively,” he says. The rider of an immaculately maintained 1996 Suzuki Bandit also advises that preparation can make all the difference. “Taking the time to protect yourself and prepare for the ride can make the difference between life and death.” He recommends motorcyclists take the following steps before you ride: Ensure all motorcycle maintenance and servicing is up to date; Carry out a pre-ride safety check that includes checking lights, engine oil and brake fluid levels, clutch, tyre condition and pressure when the tyres are cold; Carry a temporary tyre repair kit; Ensure the chain is correctly adjusted and lubricated with an appropriate chain grease; Secure luggage, being sure not to overload the motorcycle thereby making it unstable; Wear protective riding gear, even in hot weather; and Prepare yourself mentally to ride at a pace both within your own and your bike’s capabilities.