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Defensive motorcycle riding ( part three )

Posted by Howard Trott on Friday, June 17, 2016 Under: Motorcycle Riding Skills
Lighting conditions

In the dark, seeing hazards is more difficult. The clues are there, but you have to pick them out. Look for illuminated road signs, reflectors between white lines, the glow of vehicle headlights on buildings, trees and hedges indicating bends and junctions.

In the dark, it can be difficult to judge distances and speed from headlights, headlights on vehicles make it difficult to see pedestrians, cyclists and any vehicle with dim lights. Don't let shop and advertising lights distract you, watch for zebra crossings, traffic lights and road signs.

Wet roads 

Wet roads increase reflected and distracting light. The reflections from wet surfaces make it more difficult to see unlit objects.

Other road users

Make allowances for cyclists. They have every right to be on the road. Allow them plenty of room. The younger the cyclist, the more you must watch them. Cyclists might glance round, showing they might be about to move out or turn, make sudden sideways movements into your path. Be carrying objects which may effect their control and balance, weave about, slow down, or stop and get off. Swerve round potholes or inspection covers, have problems in bad weather, particularly strong crosswinds, find difficulties on poor road surfaces or where tramlines are set in the road.

Powered vehicles used by disabled people

These small vehicles can be used on the pavement and on the road. They are extremely vulnerable when they are on the road. Because of their small size, especially their low height, their low speed, (they have a maximum speed of 8 mph). They are often not easy to see on a dual carriageway, they will have an amber flashing light, but on other roads you may not have that advance warning.

Buses and coaches  

Look well ahead when you see buses and coaches at a bus stop. Be aware of people getting off the bus or coach and not looking properly before they cross the road. Even if they look, their view is often restricted. Also buses and coaches pulling away from the bus stop. If they are signalling to move out, always give way to them if you can do it safely. 


When turning from one road to another, always look out for pedestrians, give way to any who are crossing, take extra care if a pedestrian fails to look your way as you approach.

Pedestrian crossings

Never overtake on the approach to pedestrian crossings.

Elderly people

Several factors make elderly people more vulnerable. Poor eyesight or hearing might mean they are not aware of approaching traffic. They might not be able to judge the speed of approaching traffic when crossing the road. Even when they do realise the danger, they may become flustered. They may also take longer to cross the road. Be patient and do not hurry them by revving your engine or edging forwards.

Disabled pedestrians

Take special care with visually impaired or disabled people. Remember that a person with hearing difficulty is not easy to identify. Visually impaired people may carry a whit stick or use a guide dog. Those who are deaf and blind may carry a white cane with a red band.


Take extra care where children might be about, particularly in residential areas and near school parks. Be aware that a school crossing warden may stop you to escort children across a bust road. Children are impulsive and often unpredictable. Therefore, ride slowly in narrow roads where parked cars obscure your view. Look out for parked ice cream vans, children are more interested in ice cream than they are in traffic, and they may run into the road unexpectedly.


Animals are easily frightened by noise and vehicles coming close to them. You should ride slowly and quietly, don't sound your horn, keep engine speed low, don't rev your engine, always watch out for animals on unfenced roads. Give animals as much room as possible.

People in charge of animals

If someone in charge of animals signals to you to stop, do so and stop your engine.

Guide dogs

A guide dog for a visually handicapped person usually has a distinctive loop type of harness. Remember, the dog is trained to wait if there's a vehicle nearby. For a person with hearing difficulty, the guide dog usually has a distinctive orange lead and collar.

Horse riders

Be particularly careful when approaching horses, especially those ridden by children. Always pass wide and slow and look out for signals given by the riders. Watch the behaviour of the horses. The riders might be having difficulty controlling them. Take special care when meeting what appears to be a riding-school group. Many of the riders might be inexperienced. Always treat horses as potential hazards and take great care when meeting or passing them. Remember, always think of the other road user, not just yourself. 

In : Motorcycle Riding Skills 

Tags: motorcycle defensive riding  motorbike riding skills   


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