If you live in the city, there’s sure to be times when you are stuck in the middle of a bunch of crowds, with other motorcycles and pedestrians cutting you off and blocking your way. You have to pay attention to your speed, make sure you know where you are, and always notice the traffic lights. At the same time, you must glance right and left for people crossing the road, because it isn’t uncommon for a teenager or a little old lady to dash out of nowhere right into your path.
Driving a motorscooter in the big city can be daunting, especially if you have yet to develop street savvy. The fact that you rarely meet a motorcyclists who hasn’t been in at least one minor accident is unsurprising. You have to pay attention to a myriad of different things all the time. Failure to act appropriately is actually able to result in death. To stay safe out there, read the following guidelines on driving a motorscooter in the big city.
Look at drivers’ heads
Honestly, turning signals aren’t all that reliable; there are always people who merge or turn without any indication in their lights. However, there is another way to anticipate what people are able to do, and that’s by looking at their heads. Most of the time, people don’t merge or turn without turning their heads in that direction.
Check your mirrors, but turn too
You can’t always pick up on the big picture without looking over your shoulder. After you’ve checked that all is clear in the mirror, throw in a half second glance behind you and you may pick up on something that was in your blind spot.
Don’t get between cars and off ramps
This is city driving 101, but it’s something that should always be mentioned. It isn’t good form for cars to merge on to off ramps at the last possible moment, but that doesn’t mean it will hurt any less if you take the damage.
Keep a finger on the brakes
There’s a reason that the driver’s license test involves reaction time. If you’ve got to react in an instant, you really don’t have time to be clumsily locating your brake levers. Keep a couple fingers on it at all times, and position your foot near the brake pedal. That way you’ll be better prepared if some kid chooses to merge without any indication.
Even if you’ve got a subtle sort of fashion sense, squashed in the middle of the road isn’t a great place to show it off. Be noticeable as you drive - bright jacket, noticeable helmet, and all. Don’t worry - bright colors are all the rage now.
Drop a gear
When you’re driving in traffic, try to stick to a gear lower than you would normally use so that if you have to, you can pump the gas and move forward instantly. That way, when that van merges without a warning, you can rev foward and surpass them. Additionally, the louder sound may make you more conspicuous. Don’t be a nuisance, though.
Get your awareness game on
It’s important that you take in everything you can about your environment. Learn to shift your eyes continuously as you drive, taking in your speed, the vehicles nearby, the traffic situation. If anything happens, you’ll be able to react quickly because you’ve got the bigger picture.