Keeping In The Line Of Sight
KEEPING IN THE LINE OF SIGHT
Often accidents between scooters and other vehicles are the result of the other driver simply not seeing the scooterist. Usually the comment “he/she came out of nowhere” is heard. However we do come from somewhere and it may have been from beyond that driver’s line of sight.
To minimize risk I always ask myself: Am I within the other driver’s line of sight?
When approaching intersections I look for the vehicle which is the greatest threat to myself. This will be the vehicle which is able to enter the intersection into my path. Try to make eye contact with the other drivers.
I think of their position and what would or could obstruct their view of myself. A common obstruction is vehicles in front of you, particularly if they are executing a turn. To counter this, decrease your speed to create a much larger gap between yourself and the vehicle in front. This will keep the other driver’s line of sight clearer. If you follow too closely you will be hidden from other vehicles’ lines of sight by the vehicle you’re effectively tailgating. If other vehicles enter the intersection you will have very little time to react.
Another common obstruction is parked cars. Another vehicle waiting to enter an intersection may have their view impaired by parked cars, which you are hidden behind. Because scooterists only make up a small percentage of road users, other drivers will most likely be watching out for another car or truck (usually drivers look for something similar in size or bigger than their own vehicle).
So never assume that this vehicle will have seen you as scooterists are not as easily seen. Once again reduce speed on approaching the intersection and change your road position to either the left hand wheel track or the right hand wheel track (whichever is furthest away from the parked cars) this will position you better within the driver’s line of sight and can prevent the other vehicle from entering the intersection into your path.
Those are just a couple of examples. The important thing to remember is to always ask yourself while riding: am I within other drivers’ lines of sight? It will open your eyes to a number of risk factors that you may not have otherwise been conscious of. Happy Riding Everyone.