Sorry Mate I Didn't See You
Friday, 14 February 2014
Think once, think twice... think bike
The joys of motorcycling - including more predictable journey times and better fuel consumption - have encouraged a recent revival in biking, especially in urban areas.
But commuters on two wheels have to cope with a host of hazards - not least, car drivers who for various reasons fail to see the motorcycle coming towards them.
In the jargon, too often car drivers look, but fail to see, motorcycles.
This problem is particularly acute at junctions and that is why it is the subject of an advertising campaign. "Sorry mate I didn't see you" is for too many bikers the last words they hear before they are put in the ambulance. Don't forget to check carefully at junctions when you are emerging. An older slogan had the same affect: "Think once, think twice ... think bike".
Apart from giving bikers a "second glance", there are other things that drivers can do to ease the passage of motorcycles, particularly in heavy congestion, that in turn will mean a safer journey for everybody.
If you are stuck in dense traffic, keep checking your mirrors for bikes.
These days they nearly all have their headlight on to make them easier to see. If the biker is trying to "filter" - make his way through the traffic by riding slowly between stationary vehicles, or riding on the white line in the middle of the road - make a point of creating space for them if you can do so in safety.
By pulling over slightly, to one side or the other, you can make the difference between letting the biker past, or adding to the congestion.
Remember to check all your mirrors first: you don''t want to compromise the bicycle making its way along the nearside in order to allow passage to a biker.
Never be tempted to vent your frustration with the traffic by getting in the way of a motorcycle on purpose. You won't go any faster and you may just contribute to a collision which of course will add to congestion rather than alleviate it.
If you are the biker - don't be aggressive, the car driver you upset today won't be inclined to help tomorrow.
And all this applies for pedal cyclists as well - both from car and cyclists point of view.