Riding defensively is an essential skill to learn if you want to stay safe on the roads. It’s all about staying one step ahead of the fame and riding in a style and with a mindset which puts you in the safest position to deal with anything that the road – or other road users – can throw at you.
1. Look up
The further ahead you look, the more you’ll see. The key to avoiding dangerous situations is knowing everything that’s going on around you. Move if you need a better view.
2. Anticipate problems
The more time you have to react to a hazard, the more likely you are to deal with it safely. Police riders recommend that you comment aloud on an upcoming hazard, explaining what you intend to do.
3. Predict hazards
A stationary bus could mean pedestrians, a bouncing ball in the road could mean children at play and a bare, open road could mean crosswinds.
4. Check your blind spots
Doing your rearward safety checks isn’t something you should give up on as soon as you’ve passed your tests – there’s a reason it’s known as the ‘lifesaver’.
5. Give yourself space
Staying a safe distance from the vehicle in front increases your range of vision and gives you space to stop in an emergency. Give parked cars at the side of the road plenty of clearance, allowing for doors opening or pedestrians appearing from behind parked cars.