Coventry Motorcyclists need to be eye catching!
21st July 2010
... Comments

Another great article from Nick Lilley at Coventry and Warwick Advanced Motorcyclists bringing home the point that....

Motorcyclists need to be eye-catching 

You’re moving away from a junction when...eyes widen, muscles tense, heart rate rises, beads of perspiration pepper your brow and you think ‘Where did that come from’, as the motorcycle skims your front bumper. This is an incident quite a few drivers have experienced and underlines the importance of visibility for the motorcyclist. In fact, in over a third of accidents involving motorbikes, drivers deny having seen the biker.

OK, you’ve got your headlight on your motorbike but this doesn’t turn you into a mobile lighthouse, especially on a bright day. Give yourself a greater chance of being seen and wear a High Vis jacket, especially if your biking gear is all black (which the majority is). Even if it’s only a cheap vest from a market stall, its fluorescent body and reflective strips will help you stand out amidst the traffic and road furniture. If you’re a leathers wearer you’re sure to have a rainsuit tucked away somewhere, which again will probably be black. But it doesn’t have to be. Other colours with large reflective panels are available and in the poor weather conditions you need to give other road users every chance of seeing you. If you have panniers or a tailbox check that they have reflective decals, if they don’t, your local bike shop stocks exactly what you need. Black may look cool and tend not to show the dirt and dead insects that bikers tend to collect, but bright colours have a greater chance of registering in the peripheral vision of other road users and bikers need to be seen!

Next time you’re renewing your biking gear (whether its gloves, helmet or leathers) think ‘visibility’ don’t want to hear a driver saying ‘I never saw him’ when you’re lying on the ground.

Having dealt with the easy stuff, the next thing to address is your biking style...

  • You should command your section of the road, be conspicuous and stay out of neighbouring vehicle’s blind spots.
  • Make sure you can see the drivers of nearby cars and better still, make eye contact with them so that you know that they are aware of your presence.
  • If you’re tucked in behind a lorry and can’t see its mirrors then you can be certain the driver can’t see you!  Just hang back a little, remember to provide yourself with a ‘zone of safety’; see and be seen before you nip past.
  • If you’re in a line of traffic without any chance of over taking, moving safely within your lane is a valid way of ensuring the vehicle ahead spots you.  
  • Remember...On a bike you should never assume you’ve been seen.

At Coventry & Warwick Advanced Motorcyclists we can help you to become a visible presence on the road and coach you to position your bike to best advantage. It is possible to stay safe without sacrificing fun, so book a free run out with one of our highly skilled observers...There’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

Contact CWAM for more info.

Thanks Nick - Great advice for bikers across Coventry!

Ali at thebestof Coventry

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