BIKER BULLETIN FROM SURVIVAL SKILLS ADVANCED RIDER TRAINING
Hazards and Risk Assessment:
A hazard is anything that may or will cause us to alter speed or course, or come into conflict with other road users, and so put us at RISK. Risk is “the chance of something going wrong multiplied by the impact on us if it happens”. So it’s a good idea to identify high risk manoeuvres and to try to eliminate them from our riding.
Is asking “What if…?” to avoid surprises. Avoiding surprises also avoids panic reactions.
Is about building a flexible riding plan that encompasses the WORST CASE SCENARIO.
Plan for the worst case scenario:
Don’t expect things to go right, expect them to go wrong, and we’ll be prepared if it happens!
If we plan for things going right, we’ll be surprised when they go wrong!
Things that can go wrong can be simple (if you ride close to car doors, what if one opens?) or complex (what if the bend ahead tightens, or the driver ahead and signalling right stops to let a car out of the side road?)
So if things go wrong, you can decide how you can get out of trouble. It could be as simple as going a bit slower!
The Killing Zone:
Is the ‘at risk’ distance where the rider, once committed to negotiating a hazard, can no longer avoid an accident. Think about speed, view and safety bubble to reduce the ‘killing zone’
Can you stop in the distance that’s clear in front of you? At very least, can you swerve? If you can’t, you’re riding too fast.
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When working out where to position yourself, ask three questions:
1. where are the areas you can see into?
2. where are the areas you can’t see into?
3. is there a position which gives you a view into those blind areas?
And a fourth, supplementary, question:
4. if you move there, would you be safe?
This works just as well for the corners you’re approaching as it does for blind junctions, parked cars and pedestrians.
The ‘Safety Bubble’ is a zone of safe space that surrounds us in traffic, in bends and junctions. Keeping the safety bubble as big as possible by keeping following distances sensible and not putting ourselves into dangerous positions helps gives both us and other drivers time to think and react.
Prioritise the bigger hazard:
Which will hurt most? What you CAN’T see is usually more dangerous than what you CAN!
Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should:
Overtaking goes wrong fairly regularly and often hurts when it does, so it’s high risk – don’t overtake just because you can, overtake because it’s useful progress and you can do it with minimal risk.
Finally… continually ask yourself some questions as you ride:
1. is what I am doing SAFE? You shouldn’t put yourself or others at risk
2. do I know WHY I’m doing it? Lots of techniques are applied without thinking, both at basic training level and advanced, everything you do should have a reason
3. does it LOOK safe to other road users? If it doesn’t, they may not behave as expected!
Survival Skills Rider Training has been offering advanced riding skills and better biking tips to motorcyclists of all ages and abilities since 1997. For more information on a Survival Skills advanced motorcycle riding course, check out our website at www.survivalskills.co.uk. For more FREE and INEXPENSIVE tips and tricks, head over to the Survival Skills Ko-Fi page and find HUNDREDS of better biking articles from the Survival Skills Facebook Archive! And don’t forget the Survival Skills YouTube channel with free-to-view videos!FOUND THIS ARTICLE USEFUL? WHY NOT SUPPORT ME AT Ko-Fi
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