If you are new to motorcycling you will soon notice (unfortunately) that many car drivers unintentionally (usually!!) simply will not see you. It is worth remembering these tips when you are on the road, so that you learn how other drivers ‘see’ you out on your bike.
1. You will soon notice that there are many more cars and lorries out on the road than bikes and in some cases the drivers simply do not ‘recognise’ a motorbike. They will unintentionally ignore you, not even registering you are there as they are constantly on the look out for other cars and lorries. When out riding on your motorbike, make sure as much as possible that they can see you, ride just to the right of the centre of your lane so you are more visible. Always ride with dipped headlights so it gives you more of a presence on the road. Wear bright clothing to make you stand out more.
2. As you and your bike are a smaller size than a car, car drivers may not realise how far away you actually are and they can find it difficult to judge how fast you are going. If I’m out on my bike and approaching a junction I always keep a close eye on any car waiting to pull out, just in case they decide to try and dive out in front of me. I have had occasions when they simply haven’t seen me and pulled right out in front of me, causing me to do an emergancy stop. The look of horror on their faces when they see a motorbike screeching to a halt at their side would be almost comical if it were not for the fact that their inattention almost caused me to hit them. Nowadays I tend to have my brakes covered when approaching junctions, especially during the rush hour, if I am out on my bike. Rush hour is always the worst time, especially when you have all the school run mums out as well rushing to get their kids to school on time.
3. Also remember that as we and our bikes are smaller we can quite easily fit into the blind spot of a car! Cars will sometimes pull out to overtake another vehicle, not realising that you are already there. If you are riding along side another vehicle just keep an eye on it, just in case it does decide to try this.
4. If, like me, you slow your bike by dropping down a gear instead of braking remember a car driver will not necessarily realise what you are doing. If you can it may be worth just dabbing your rear brake just to let them know you are slowing down. They may notice a sudden glare of a brake light and get the idea.
The best advice I can give you is to RIDE AS IF YOU ARE INVISIBLE!!!
Ride as if no one can see you, and anticipate that other road users will always do the wrong thing in any given circumstance!! It is what I was told to do when I first started riding, and I do it EVERYTIME I go out on my bike.