The best way to avoid trouble is to see it coming. Skilled drivers have very few surprises on the road because they see and understand possible problems before getting to them. Learn to look far ahead of where you are driving. In the city, look one-half to one full block ahead. On the freeway, look as far ahead as you can see. Looking well ahead gives you time to adjust to problems. It also helps you to avoid panic stops or sudden swerves that can cause even more trouble.
Follow these steps to develop driver awareness:
- Keep your eyes constantly moving and scanning the road ahead, beside and behind. Do not look at one place for more than two seconds; trouble could be developing while you are not looking.
- Look ahead as far as you can see. Look beyond the vehicle in front of you for others that are stopping or turning ahead.
- Check the roadside. Watch for vehicles that may leave the curb or enter from side streets or driveways.
Sometimes you cannot see an area because a bridge or truck blocks your view. Good drivers have good imaginations. Ask yourself what might be there that you cannot see yet. Remember, what you cannot see can hurt you.
When looking ahead and scanning the road, check the surface of the road for slippery spots, bumps, broken pavement, loose gravel, wet leaves or objects lying in the road. When driving in winter, be alert for ice and snow patches. Learn to see these spots well ahead so you do not have to look down at the road surface.
In some situations, you can put your motorcycle in a position to see things that other drivers cannot. For example, in a blind curve, where you cannot see all the way around the curve, move to the side of the lane where you can see as much as possible of the road ahead.
At blind intersections, after stopping, ease forward past obstructions to see if anything is coming.
When you are parked or stopped at the side of the road and want to join traffic, angle your motorcycle across the road so that you can see in both directions.