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The Rider's Handbook

Observation

The road environment is constantly changing.  This calls for high levels of observation by the rider.

Scanning

The key to good observation is scanning.  Keep our eyes moving constantly, looking at the environment around you:

  • In the distance.
  • At the road surface.
  • To your left and right.
  • Regularly at your mirrors and instruments.
Before moving off from traffic lights check all directions to make sure the traffic has stopped.
Mirrors

Check your mirrors every few seconds so you always know what is behind you.  In particular check your mirrors:

  • before changing your speed or road position.
  • when preparing to turn or change lanes, especially if you plan to turn where others may not expect it, such as at laneways, driveways and side streets
  • When you are stopped behind another vehicle.

observation diagram

Head checks

Like car drivers, motorcycle riders have ‘blind spots’—the road areas slightly behind you to your left and right that cannot be seen in your mirrors.

Always do a head check, by turning your head and looking over your shoulder on both sides to see the blind spots, just before you change your position on the road (make a turn, exit a roundabout, move off or change lanes). A head check is the only sure way to see if any vehicles are in your blind spots.

Always do a head check before turning right into a side street or driveway in case a following vehicle has not seen your indicator and is overtaking you.
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