Motorcycle Driver’s Handbook

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Learning to predict

Traffic laws and rules of driving courtesy tell what you and other drivers are supposed to do in any situation. A motorcyclist could just ride along assuming that other drivers will always obey the rules. This kind of prediction is certain to get the rider seriously injured.

Good riders are always asking themselves what other drivers are really going to do, not what they are supposed to do.

In order to predict what other drivers will do, the rider has to think about three things:

  1. What does the other driver want to do?
  2. Am I in the way?
  3. Does the other driver see me?

The other drivers on the road want to get where they’re going without delay. They will do whatever is necessary to keep moving. For instance, if a driver’s lane is blocked by a stalled car, the motorist will want to change lanes to keep moving. If the driver is stopped at a stop sign, he or she will want to pull out as soon as possible. To predict what the driver is actually going to do, you have to put yourself in the other driver’s position.

Drivers of cars involved in collisions with motorcycles often say they didn’t see the motorcycle soon enough to avoid the collision.

A motorcycle can be difficult to see. From ahead or behind, its outline is much smaller than a car’s. Motorcycles that aren’t seen are often hit. If a driver does not see you, he or she may pull out or turn in front of you, or cut you off.

Even if the driver does see you, you might be hit if he or she:

  • misjudges your speed
  • is impaired
  • is unconcerned about your well-being

Only the motorcycle rider can make the motorcycle more noticeable. There are a number of things you can do to stand out.


Rev: 2015