Great radio programme on CBC called ‘Quirks and Quarks’. Science focus. From current topics to cutting edge research.
This week the topics included a Nottingham professor who’s research shows that motorists are blind, most of the time, when looking at motorcycles. A simulator was used for an exercise of a car driver pulling out onto a main road. With two cars on the main road. Or with a car and a bike. In all cases the test subjects reacted correctly to the presence of a car. But in most cases involving a bike, the test subjects noted then forgot about seeing the bike ! Yikes !
If you are a car driver, the professor recommends saying “bike” when you see one. This apparently improves memory.
If you are on two wheels, assume that the car driver has NOT seen you, and be prepared for them trying to kill you. Hands on brake and clutch levers. Try and make eye contact with the driver.
Personally, I would like to see all car drivers take this test.
Those who fail, should have their licence taken away. There is no excuse for being a blind motorist.
When riding, motorcyclists “bubble up”.
They imagine they are in a bubble, and envisage all things the could intersect with that bubble. From the road surface to the sky. From front and rear. From left and right. A constant 360deg by 360deg scan.
And the bubble size varies. From the length of the bike, to how far 30secs of riding will take you. With the main focus being on 2secs of riding, or, a 33m bubble at 60kph.
A lot of concentration required.
The bubble varies in size, and in each iteration you build a picture of what is there, and what could be there. Each layer builds a total picture. Helps a rider be ready for what is happening, and what could happen.
Motorists should do the same.
Or at the very least, look 3 times.
Once to check the conditions.
A second time to confirm that it is safe to execute the move.
And look a third time as they are making their move.
Then maybe, just maybe, car drivers would be able to notice the motorcycle.