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The Rider's Handbook

Observation

Scanning

Scanning, is keeping your eyes moving, checking in one area for a couple of seconds, then moving your eyes to another area.

When scanning look:

  • 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
You should check your mirrors every few seconds so you always know what is behind you. There are also particular times when it is very important for you to use your mirrors:

  • Check your mirrors before making any change to your speed or road position.
  • When preparing to turn or change lanes, watch carefully for any cars behind you, especially if you plan to turn where others may not expect it, such as at lane ways, driveways and side streets.
  • When you are stopped behind another vehicle, leave plenty of space in front of you to move. Watch vehicles approaching from behind. Remain in first gear, with a brake applied and be able to move off to avoid being hit from behind.
observation diagram

Head checks
Motorcycles have 'blind spots' just as cars do. A blind spot is the area next to you thatyou are unable to see in your mirrors. When you are about to change your position on the road (eg. make a turn, exit a roundabout, move off or change lanes), make sure you turn your head and look over your shoulder to see if it is clear. This is called a 'head check' and is the only sure way to see objects that are in your blind spot.

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