Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
Home > Motorcycles Handbook > Visibility > Check your mirrors
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I. Visibility
Check your mirrors

Check your mirrors every five to seven seconds to keep track of traffic coming up behind you. You should have a good picture in your mind of what is behind so someone passing you will not surprise you. You also need to know in order to stop quickly or swerve if necessary.

It is especially important to check your mirrors in the following situations:

  • Before you have to slow down or stop suddenly or when you are stopped at an intersection. If the driver behind you is not paying attention, she or he may be dangerously close before noticing you are there. Be prepared to get out of the way.
  • Before you make a turn. Check vehicles behind you when you plan to slow down and turn. Remember to use your brake lights to signal that you are slowing down. (Gearing down does not activate your brake lights.) If drivers behind you do not appear to be aware that you are turning, it may be safer to continue going straight.
  • Before you change lanes. Make sure no one is trying to pass you.

Remember that mirrors do not give the whole traffic picture. There is an area on each side of your motorcycle or moped that you cannot see in your mirror. You may not see people or vehicles when they are in these blind spots. Always turn your head and check over your shoulder before you turn or change lanes.

Diagram of rider’s blind spot in the rear-view mirrors