Updated: Jul 4, 2019
Suggestions on how to handle distracted drivers and awkward routes
Failing to predict how a road scenario can go down ahead of time can be problematic for motorcyclists. If you’re not thinking a few steps ahead, you could face a crash or a narrow escape of some kind. On the other hand, smart riders who notice subtle signs of pending disasters by regularly checking out their visual “screen” for dangers can take steps to avoid them. Some riders think of their route as a game in order to foresee and avoid dangerous scenarios.
Visualize yourself riding down a set of curved roads. As you progress, you see a black SUV ahead of you which seems to be drifting from right to left. Whether they are texting, using their GPS, under the influence, or any other reason, they’re failing to remain in their lane. Driving in front of the van is another driver who doesn’t notice the swaying SUV because he, too, is preoccupied.
The scenario is about to get more problematic when the light ahead of them both changes into yellow from green. The biker stops abruptly, but the SUV driver keeps his pace towards the lights. Failing to view his mirror, the rider is oblivious to the disaster approaching him from behind.
To bypass getting involved in the imminent disaster, you should view your mirrors right away prior to decreasing your speed and moving to your lane’s furthest side. In this scenario, fortunately, the driver hits the breaks and swerves to avoid colliding with the unmindful driver. Give yourself a pat on the back for being attentive to the distracted driver’s body language and for creating somewhat of a safety pad between the danger and your vehicle/body. As for the other driver, shame on them for not being aware of the trouble on the horizon.
With the traffic calamity behind you, you can focus on riding on the winding rural roads. Since you haven’t been on this route often, each corner should be approached attentively. You should be mindful of cues and clues that can aid you in determining the radius and corners you’re approaching. This can be troublesome since the tarmac goes through a dense underbrush that conceals the aspects of every turn.
As you approach a specific blind corner, you see that the ground looks like it drops around the curve. There isn’t a sign on the highway that indicates that a sharp curve is coming, but the big wall of leaves in front of you and the tree line on your right are indicative of a tight downhill hairpin. Such visual suggestions tell you to slow down, so you do just that and hit the brakes quickly…too soon. While your brake pressure is maintained, you approach the curve with caution. As you thought, the road goes down further, and if you weren’t prepared, it would have been fatal for you.
But you’re not in the clear quite yet, since there are patches of gravel and sand spread across your lane! Although this development has your attention, you are still trail-braking towards the curve. You decide to add more brake force prior to taking your foot off the brake pedal and position the bike upright as you pass by the debris. After you’re clear, you counter-steer your motorcycle back into the lane to remain within it and keep going. The ride isn’t over, but your mindfulness saved you from a disaster!
These are instances of how you can bypass near death experiences via being mindful of the cues and clues around you, which can help you foresee dangerous scenarios. This ability is important if you intend to motorcycle safely.
Any other suggestions on how to avoid accidents? Let us know what you think by leaving your comments below.