Friday, June 7, 2024

Fighting a bad motorcycling habit

 This is an article about motorcycling but first let me ask a question about driving a car. 

Motorcyclists, when you are driving a car, do you check out the rear window when backing up, or do you just look at the dashboard rear-vision camera? 

Be honest. 

I ask this because I have noticed myself developing a new bad habit. Rather than twist my neck and body to look out past the headrests, and through the tinted rear window, I have begun relying on the car's back-up camera. 

Oh, I make a guilty half-glance toward the back before going into reverse; but I can't pretend that's adequate. 

This new bad habit is going to be a hard one to break. I know, because I have a different bad habit when motorcycling that I can't seem to break. 

Here it is: When I give one of my rear-view mirrors a routine check while riding, I automatically then immediately shift my vision to check the other rear-view mirror.

Doesn't sound so bad, right?

But consider this: I realize that I am not checking the view forward between glances in the mirrors.

Looking where you are going is generally going to be more important than looking at what may or may not be catching up to you.

I've never seen this addressed in any safety lecture or material.

I suppose I ought to be looking forward immediately after looking anywhere else.

Even if I am looking in one mirror while considering shifting lanes (I'll have to turn my head then, too) it is unlikely that I would be thinking of changing lanes both left and right. It's one or the other. So why do I look at both?

The additional effort in pausing to look forward is minute. It would call for me to refocus my eyeballs from the very close mirrors to look far up the road. Is that asking too much?

Seemingly so. I can't seem to break this habit, although I try.

In context, relying heavily on the automobile back-up camera for backing is somewhat justified. The camera is very good.

It's apparent that auto manufacturers have sacrificed the view out the back window to styling, streamlining, comfier seatbacks and window tinting.

Besides, they know we are too lazy to twist around.

Motorcycling, at least on a vintage motorcycle, still requires plain old eyeballs.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6/08/2024

    I reverse by looking in my mirrors, all 3, and I have my hazard lights flashing as well so no one can say they didn't realise.
    As for checking both mirrors, you need to do that but developer a habit of looking forward before checking the other one.


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