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Positioning for Safety, Identifying Hazards, and Avoiding Accidents - MTC Minute

Positioning for Safety, Identifying Hazards, and Avoiding Accidents - MTC Minute

Motorcycle Safety: Positioning for Safety, Identifying Hazards, and Avoiding Accidents

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, but it also comes with its risks. As a motorcycle rider, your safety is of utmost importance, and it is crucial to take the necessary precautions to minimize the risks of accidents. This article focuses on motorcycle safety, emphasizing the importance of positioning for safety, identifying hazardous situations, assessing relevant threats, and navigating active threats.

Positioning for Safety

Positioning for safety on the road involves creating adequate space cushions around your vehicle, allowing for evasive maneuvers if needed. It is essential to establish escape routes and constantly identify them to react to unexpected obstacles. Maintaining a clear line of sight and adjusting your position in relation to other vehicles ensures better visibility and reaction time, particularly in corners and around blind spots.

Creating Adequate Space Cushion

Creating space cushions around your motorcycle is crucial for safe riding. You need to create a space cushion in front of you that will allow you to brake in time if there is a threat. The space is also important for deciding whether to swerve instead of braking. Having space cushions to your left and right will help you notice anyone merging into your personal space. This buys you time to do an evasive maneuver.

Maintaining a space cushion behind you becomes more challenging, as you now have to work with the driver behind you. Typically, if a driver tailgates you, it is best to move over into a different lane. This could be difficult on single-lane roads, so this is where you need to have good escape routes in front of you.

Establishing Escape Routes

Escape routes are crucial for motorcycle safety. These are alternate paths that you can take to avoid obstacles in your path of travel. If a rock is in the road, you might swerve to an escape path to the left or right. The same can go for if a car turns left in front of you, you might swerve right or left depending on the situation. You must actively find these escape routes before you need them. Finding the escape route and then doing the evasive maneuver simultaneously becomes almost impossible. There is just not enough time.

Maintaining a Clear Line of Sight

Maintaining a clear line of sight is essential for identifying potential hazards on the road. Following behind a vehicle is a recipe for disaster. The vehicle in front of you will be blocking your view of what's in front of that vehicle. Moving off to the left or right side of your lane while maintaining a good space cushion in front of you will allow you to see ahead of that vehicle. This gives you more time to perceive and react to situations that might need evasive maneuvers.

This also works in corners. On a left-handed turn around a blind corner, your vision is better if you are on the right side of your lane. Either way, your vision will be obscured by whatever is causing the line of sight issue, so slowing down would be a good option, so you have more time to find escape routes and increase your space cushion.

In conclusion, motorcycle safety is all about being proactive and vigilant while riding. Positioning for safety, identifying hazards, and establishing escape routes are essential for reacting to unexpected obstacles on the road. By maintaining a clear line of sight and utilizing various techniques to create space cushions, riders can minimize the risks of accidents. Remember to always be alert, wear proper safety gear, and practice defensive riding techniques. By following these safety tips, you can enjoy the freedom of riding a motorcycle while staying safe on the road. 

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