Top rid­ing tips

The way you in­ter­act with road users is key

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Ev­ery time you are out and about rid­ing you are com­mu­ni­cat­ing with other road users, giv­ing and re­ceiv­ing in­for­ma­tion. For ex­am­ple, each time you squeeze the brake lever you are il­lu­mi­nat­ing your brake light and thereby in­form­ing other traf­fic that you are slow­ing. Ev­ery time you put your in­di­ca­tors on you are hav­ing a non-ver­bal con­ver­sa­tion with other road users. Ev­ery road jour­ney is an in­ter­ac­tion with other road users and we all rely on each other to com­mu­ni­cate. It is this un­spo­ken con­tact that al­lows us to share our road space safely and be at one with our fel­low hu­mans.

It’s just good man­ners

Good com­mu­ni­ca­tion is an im­por­tant and of­ten over­looked part of rid­ing. For ex­am­ple, if you are trav­el­ling down a road with sev­eral parked cars and you stop to give way to an on­com­ing driver you would ex­pect a cheery wave. If a driver ig­nores you in such a sit­u­a­tion you might not be so gen­er­ous next time.

Defuse sticky sit­u­a­tions

If you make a mis­take on the road (and let’s face it, who hasn’t at some point?) and ac­ci­den­tally cut up or in­con­ve­nience an­other road user, don’t just stick your head down and pre­tend it hasn’t hap­pened. If you spill some­one’s drink in the pub would you just walk off and ig­nore them? Give a wave to say sorry and rather than leav­ing the other driver curs­ing, you will have in­stantly made your peace with them. This will defuse any road rage.

Used the horn? Give ’em a wave

Ever used the horn and found the re­cip­i­ent to be in­dig­nant? Give a quick wave to say: ‘Ta, just check­ing you’d seen me, no hard feel­ings.’

Make your po­si­tion clear

You can com­mu­ni­cate in sub­tle ways to help con­trol your road space, too. Early po­si­tion­ing helps other road users un­der­stand and an­tic­i­pate your in­ten­tions. Re­duc­ing speed early be­fore ma­noeu­vres puts other driv­ers on no­tice and help them to give you the space that you de­sire.

Lead by ex­am­ple

Next time you use your in­di­ca­tors or show your rear brake light, con­sider the mes­sage you send out. Are you giv­ing enough info, at the right time, and will it be un­der­stood? Lead by ex­am­ple, give clear in­for­ma­tion, be po­lite and you will en­cour­age other road users to fol­low suit.

Used the horn to alert a car of your pres­ence? Soften the ef­fect with a po­lite wave Don't be blind to sig­nals from other road users ei­ther. Brake lights and in­di­ca­tors are valu­able forms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion Use your po­si­tion to give in­for­ma­tion to oth­ers abo

Mark Ed­wards Re­tired po­lice mo­tor­cy­clist, now an in­struc­tor for Rapid Train­ing

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