The best way to stay out of trouble is to see it coming. Expert riders have very few surprises on the road because they see and understand possible problems before getting to them.
To have such good perception, experts have learned to look far ahead. In the city, expert riders always look from one and a half to two blocks ahead. On the highway, they look as far ahead as they can see. Looking well ahead gives them plenty of time to adjust to problems. It also helps them avoid panic stops or sudden swerves that can cause even more trouble. (For more information, see the Saskatchewan Driver’s Handbook.)
Your visibility of traffic and road conditions is better if you do not follow the vehicle ahead too closely.
To develop expert rider perception:
- Look ahead as far as you can see.
- Keep your eyes moving. Don’t look at one place for more than two seconds; trouble could be developing in one place while you’re staring at another.
- Use your height advantage. Look over or through the car in front of you for cars stopping or turning ahead.
- Check the roadside. Watch for cars that may leave the curb or enter from side streets or driveways.
Sometimes you cannot see an area because your view is blocked by a bridge or a truck. Good riders have good imaginations. Ask yourself what might be there that you can’t see yet. What you can’t see can hurt you.