Motorcyclist Awareness Tips

Every day we read, hear or experience motorcycle accidents on our roads, and some riders survive and some don’t. The proverbial “Not if, but when” is a very real fact each one of us stare in the face when we swing our leg over, and head out on the road to face a jungle of other road users.

If you find yourself in the comfort of a motor vehicle, then this is for you. May you find these 10 Awareness Tips educational and game changer...

 

Awareness Tip #1

tip-1There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don't "recognize" a motorcycle; they ignore it (usually unintentionally).

Look for motorcycles, especially when checking traffic at an intersection.

Awareness Tip #2

tip-2Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed.

When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.

Awareness Tip #3

tip-3Because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc.).

Take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic, whether you're changing lanes or turning at intersections.

Awareness Tip #4

tip-4Because of its small size, a motorcycle may seem to be moving faster than it really is.

Don't assume all motorcyclists are speed demons.

Awareness Tip #5

tip-5Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds.

At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.

Awareness Tip #6

tip-6Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-cancelling, thus some riders, sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change.

Make sure a motorcycle's signal is for real.

Awareness Tip #7

tip-7Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind.

Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off or to allow you to share the lane with them.

Awareness Tip #8

tip-8Manoeuvrability is one of a motorcycle's better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with good road conditions, but don't expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.

Please give him some room, don’t drive in his safety buffer.

Awareness Tip #9

tip-9Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but a slippery road surface makes stopping quickly difficult.

Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because it can't always stop "on a dime."

Awareness Tip #10

tip-10When a motorcycle is in motion, don't think of it as motorcycle; think of it as a person.

Save a Life – Look for Motorcyclists!

Hein Jonker

Founder of the Motorcycle Safety Institute of South Africa Editor in Chief of Bike Talk South Africa Chief Instructor of Bike Talk Motorcycle Rider Academy Motorcycle Safety & Skills Expert for Arrive Alive South Africa

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