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Be proactive
when riding

A proactive approach is needed when
riding in traffic. Always ride using extreme
caution. Unlike drivers of other vehicles,
you do not have a seat belt or protection
around you in a collision. Collisions
between motorcycles and vehicles often
result in injuries to the motorcycle rider.

Motorcycles and their riders can be
more difficult to see than cars and other
vehicles. Many motorists do not anticipate,
see, or hear the motorcycles that share the
road. Some drivers involved in collisions
with a motorcycle say they never saw the
motorcycle and rider.

You cannot be sure that other drivers
will see you. Therefore, you must always
watch other road users and anticipate their
actions. If a driver does not see you, he
or she may turn in front of you or change
lanes into you. Be sure you are positioned
where other drivers have the best chance
to see you. You may need to use your horn
to alert others that you are near.

Blind spots

Even when all rear view mirrors are
properly adjusted, there are large areas
behind and to the side of a driver or rider
that cannot be seen using only the mirrors.
These are called blind spots. When riding,
always do a shoulder check to be sure that
your blind spot is clear of traffic before you
change lanes.

Stay out of other drivers’ blind spots
as much as possible. It is easy for a
motorcycle and rider to be hidden in a
blind spot. If you ride in a driver’s blind

spot, and the driver changes lanes without
doing a shoulder check, he or she will
not see you and will move into your riding
space. When riding behind or to the sides
of other vehicles, ride where you can be
seen clearly in their inside or outside rear
view mirror. If you cannot see the driver
in a vehicle’s mirrors, the driver probably
cannot see you.

Using the driver’s outside and inside
rear view mirrors, rider B can be seen by
the driver of the vehicle, but riders C and D
cannot be seen.

Ride where you can be seen. The yellow area 
is visible to the driver in the vehicle’s inside and 
outside rear view mirrors.

Managing the
space around you
and being seen

Never assume that other drivers have
seen you. Look ahead and around you.
Plan an escape route for an emergency.
The best protection you have is to create
a manageable space cushion around
you. A space cushion is the distance
between yourself and others.

34  A Rider's Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing

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