I am absolutely, 100% convinced that the key to safe riding is maintaining your focus. The weather, your skill level, your psychological well being and most of all, the traffic that surrounds you is exactly what you need to be focused on to ride safely. Accidents do happen but if you remain totally focused on what you are doing, you can minimize your rise and enjoy your risk.
Let’s focus on the traffic around you. No matter if you are on city streets or on the interstate, your safety threat are the cars next to you. You can do a lot more than just watch out for these cars; you can try to anticipate which of these cars/drivers are your biggest threat.
Like the Terminator who has a digital readout analyzing the threat potential in front, you can do the same.
Erratic Lane Changers
You see these drivers all the time. Late for work, changing lanes back and forth, tailgating and just generally trying to push the whole traffic pack forward. After ten miles of these dangerous lane changes, they usually end up at the same traffic light as the rest of the cars who are driving safe and sane.
When you spot these folks, just like the terminator, log them in on your own personal focus radar and stay away from them. Never place yourself next to them, stay clear. And don’t forget about the other cars which may be the lane changers next victims. If the lane changer hits another car a whole chain of accident events is going to take place. Make sure that you are riding in the clear if this should happen.
I hate to say this as I am getting up there in years myself, but the older drivers are some of the biggest motorcycle rider threats on the road. The biggest deal is that they tend to rely on mirrors only (if at all) and never look over their shoulder to see who is next to them.
When you spot older drivers, place a Terminator warning flag in your focus radar and stay clear.
When I see a driver talking on the phone, I assume that 50% of their attention has evaporated. And it they are waving their hands around during the conversation, make that 75% attention deficit. Stay clear!
Beaters (beat up, dirty rattletraps)
I know that everyone just cannot afford a nice ride but whenever i see a vehicle that is in extremely poor disrepair just clunking down the road, I move them up into my focus radar.
To me, anyone who is driving a beater, has a low priority on driver safety. If they don’t care about their own personal safety, they surely don’t care about yours. Stay clear.
I mean who knows if a driver is drunk or not but when I see someone who has difficulty staying in their lane, drifting from one side of the lane to the other, I stay away.
My point here is to stay focused on the traffic around you. And remember, it’s all a moving target. Things change rapidly and to ride safely, you must stay aware of these changes.
How bad do you really want to stay away, well for me it’s not unusual for me to stay over in the slow lane and let the dangerous drivers move on up ahead and out of my Terminator’s focus radar? In some cases, it is safer to move up and put the danger behind you.
My motto is, “They can’t hit you if you’re not there!”