MotorCycle RoadCraft. Chapter 3. Pages 39 - 64.
Observational skills cannot be over-emphasised. It is only by constant concentration and observation that other skills can be developed.
Almost inevitably, at some time or other whilst riding or driving, you will find your concentration wandering. Recognise this as a serious flaw and resolve to correct it.
Probably the best
method is to practice “commentary” riding/driving.
As with all skills, it will improve with
Doing commentary forces you to
concentrate on the road/ride/drive.
out loud about what you see.
might affect you.
What you are going to do about it?
Start simply on quiet roads: -
Here there are centre of road markings.
Ahead there are hazard warning lines (what ARE hazard warning lines?)
Further ahead there
is a double white line system.
I am warned of this by the “feed-in” or “get left” arrow(s).
Then go on to describe what action, if any, you intend to take.
To improve your observational skills constantly scan both sides of the road and its surface. Scan the far distance, middle distance, near distance and rearwards. Look for road signs, bus stop signs, house for sale signs, etc. It is only by constantly working at these skills that you can hope to fully develop them.
I always like to ride with EMMA.
Who is EMMA?
EMMA is a lovely little
acronym to remind me to keep my Eyes Moving and Mind Alert.
We need to look for all types of hazard including, but not exclusively: -
Looking well ahead - in order to be proactive, not merely reactive to potentially developing situations.
Road surface - paint, grates, pot-holes, fuel spillages, etc.
Other road users - vehicles, pedestrians, animals.
Road junctions - positively assess ALL junctions for safety (especially traffic light controlled ones) for the possibility of emerging/crossing vehicles.
Remember, whilst you
may have priority at a road junction
“right of way” -
PRIORITY IS NO GUARANTEE OF SAFETY.
The speed of a vehicle as it emerges from a side road or turns across your path into one will not kill or seriously injure (KSI) you.
BUT YOUR SPEED MIGHT !
observations, over hedgerows, wall tops, between buildings etc. especially on
rural roads. Also in urban situations,
e.g. when approaching all junctions.
KEY POINT: -by training yourself to look into side roads, etc. you automatically program your brain to react quicker.
Statisticians (those sad people who have yet to get a life - only joking, honest) reckon that if only one of the participants in collisions had acted half a second earlier, then most collisions wouldn't happen!
Be constantly aware of the rearward and side traffic conditions.
“blind spot mirrors” - I prefer circular ones, positioned in the top outside
corners of the existing mirrors.
Work on being systematic, this does not mean being rigid.
Picture the numbers 1 to 5 in chronological order.
Now picture the same numbers randomly without any two consecutive numbers.
Compare the mental effort and time required for both and you will realise the importance of being methodical (systematic).
MotorCycle RoadCraft. Chapter 2, page 27 - 38.
I. P.S.G. A.
whole riding/driving environment.
Take, use and give information as required.
the gears (unless very poor conditions - snow, ice etc.)
negotiate the hazard.
At all times seek to optimise your VIEW, but not at the expense of SAFETY (space) or STABILITY (grip).
OH, YES, you do. You want to "hit" the safe space that is available to you.
SO, LOOK AT IT.
It came from nowhere - Suddenly - Well, I signalled.
Nowhere is the place you haven't looked.
Suddenly is what you have failed to anticipate.
Signals never make a manoeuvre safe.
KEY POINT: - much has been written, and spoken, about making "eye contact" with other road users.
I have mixed feelings about this.
I only make direct eye contact with another road user if I am hoping they might give priority to me, OR, I am prepared to give priority to them, for example, when pedestrians are waiting at Zebra Crossings.
When a motorist is waiting to emerge/cross my path at junctions and I am on the major road, I will often make a head movement away from them (perhaps pretending to look in a mirror) and use my peripheral vision to watch them - making it appear that I have NOT seen them.
Looking directly at them may, I feel, tempt them into my path.
MIAM (car & motorcycle). RoSPA (RoADAR) - Gold Standard (car & motorcycle).
DOTADI - Approved Driving Instructor (car).