Motorcyclists have the odds stacked against them. They do not have seat belts, airbags, crumple zones, or protective metal cages. The motorcyclist is at a disadvantage in a collision with a car. This is because the vehicle with the greatest mass usually comes out ahead. They also lack the car’s visibility.
For all of these reasons and more, the motorcyclist cannot afford to be casual about his riding because the consequences of an accident are too severe. If the average motorist were as careful as the most responsible motorcyclist, the road would be a safer place to drive. Three riding tips for bikers that apply equally for motorists are considered below:
This means turning on your headlights when visibility is poor such as during a rain storm, fog, and from early evening hours to mid-morning hours. You should also turn on your headlights when the sun is at your back. This will make you more visible to oncoming traffic that has the sun in their eyes. If there are long shadows pointing in your direction of travel, turn on your headlights.
Avoid Target Fixation
A motorcycle tends to go wherever the rider is looking. That means he or she looks at where they want to go rather than directly at an obstacle they are trying to avoid. For the motorist, this means not fixating on any particular vehicle or on an accident or other road hazard up ahead. If you allow enough space between yourself and the car ahead, there is no need for constant fixation. You should maintain an awareness of the car while constantly scanning the traffic situation around you. Road hazards require your awareness but constant fixation means you could slam into a car that suddenly brakes or cuts you off.
Anticipate The Intentions Of Others
Motorcyclists often have problems with cars making left turns in front of them at intersections. This happens when the biker is riding straight through the intersection when an oncoming car cuts him off with a sudden left turn in front of him. The safe motorcyclist learns to anticipate this by looking at the car’s positioning on the road, the angle of the front wheels, and where the driver is looking before the light turns green. The motorist can adopt the same tactic at intersections as well. Anticipating the intentions of others is also useful in many other situations such as reading the intentions of the car you are about to pass in a multilane highway.
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