When did you last drive somewhere completely new without the use of a SatNav?
Did you get there? Did you make wrong turns? How did you fathom it out?
This is the world of a motorcyclist. Yes, we can fit SatNav devices or use the latest tech to link with your mobile phone, and they do help know which exit to take on a motorway or roundabout.
But, to really work out what is going on with the road ahead, it needs more calculation.
Modern day vehicles are safe and easy to drive. This gives even the newest driver confidence and allows all of us, even more experienced drivers, to get away with mistakes we simply couldn’t have in an older car. The downside is that it allows us to think less about the road ahead, relying more on the media and safety features within the car.
As a motorcyclist, we're experiencing the road without many of these safety features. This makes it is much more important that we plan the road ahead better, by understanding what signs and road markings all add up to.
- Where paint is concerned it is actually quite simple, the more paint there is, the greater potential there is for issues in that area.
Junctions, bends, unseen hazards; it's all right there on the road. When you next take any journey in your car, pay extra attention to the markings and you'll see this in action!
- Likewise, did you know that you can work out pretty much exactly which exit and at what angle it is on a roundabout by just looking at the sign?
We often take these for granted as more experienced road users but they were very cleverly designed to give us a great deal of information on position and angle long before we enter the roundabout, not simply just the next town name.
- Speed limits are always very clear in the infrastructure and signage around them. There are 2 main speed limits, and all others are simply derivatives of those 2. You may not have been taught this but when you understand it, it makes complete sense.
When starting your learning journey to become a qualified motorcyclist, we recommend you begin by allowing a greater gap between you and any vehicle in front to see these signs and road markings, as you start to put these links together. Even try an unusual journey in your car without relying on the SatNav, it will all help you on the course you are about to embark on.