On average about a quarter of motorcycle fatalities every year happen on rural roads often on a corner where the road changes direction.
This 5 minute video features a police advanced motorcyclist who shares some of his experiences to help riders plan for what you can see, what you can’t see or realistically expect to happen. The video looks at limit points, what they are and why they are important to help riders tackle left, right and a series of corners on a rural road.
The short video sequence will visually highlight the skills necessary and the principals, which should be adopted to safely negotiate bends.
It is proven that wearing seat belts save lives and reduces the risk of serious injury. It is now the law in Cyprus for all occupants of a vehicle to wear a seatbelt. Get into the habit and as the driver, insist that your passengers ‘buckle up’.
Drive with space around you. A Collision can only occur when two objects occupy the same Space.
This can be avoided by always leaving a suitable gap between you and other road users and objects.
Build a space cushion of safety all around your vehicle by constantly adjusting your speed and position to maximize the distance between yourself and other vehicles. Dominate your own road position so tailgaters must pass you safely or not at all.
This will enable you and those around you to have ‘time to react’.
Drive observing the maximum and minimum speed limits set by law, and drive at a speed in which you are able to stop safely, on your own side of the road and in the distance you can see to be clear.
Be aware of the environment you are in and of those things going on around you. Adjust your speed accordingly.
Is the most dangerous manoeuvre you can make while driving.
Always be ready to abandon an overtake should another hazard come into view.
Do not cause any other vehicle to change course or speed.
- where there is restricted view, such as hill crests, bends and at or approaching junctions.
- unless yon can see far enough ahead and it’s safe.
- unless can return to the correct side of the road safely and in plenty of lime.
- on the left, unless the vehicle in front is signaling to turn right, and you can overtake on the left safely.
- On, or approaching a pedestrian crossing.
If in doubt – Don’t Overtake!
As you approach a pedestrian crossing, slow down and be prepared to stop to allow pedestrians to cross. Scan both sides of the crossing as you approach. DO NOT wave pedestrians across, as this could be dangerous if another vehicle is approaching.
It is illegal to park on the crossing and on the zigzag lines either side of the crossing.
Look ahead and scan with your eyes to get the full picture, not fixing your vision on anything for more than two seconds. Constantly check your mirrors and also your blind spots when moving off and changing lanes.
Turn on your dipped headlights (not sidelights only) when visibility is reduced whatever the cause. Be it in the daytime when there is heavy rain, log smoke etc. or at dusk due to diminishing light.If you cant see other vehicles properly when their lights are not illuminated then they cant see you.
You can also improve your visibility during normal driving by carefully positioning your vehicle so ii is not obscured by other vehicles or buildings.
Keep both hands on the wheel at either the quarter-to-three or ten-to-two position, unless it is necessary to operate a control or to give a hand signal. Use the ‘pull-push’ method where you can to make changes in direction smoothly. Always keep at least one hand on the wheel. Do not use a mobile phone while driving.
Remain alert and combat fatigue by making sure you are not tired before you start your journey. Take frequent rest breaks. Get out of the car and walk around before continuing. Share the driving if other drivers are available and legal. Do not continue beyond your safety limit.
Allow Sufficient Journey Time
Leave sufficient time for your journey allowing for traffic and weather conditions. Leaving late tends to result in excessive speed, fines and accidents.
Follow the safety rules for reversing:-
- When parking, reverse in to the space if at all possible. You normally have more time to spare when you arrive than when you leave.
- Travel backwards only a sufficient distance to enable you to complete the planned manoeuvre
- Move slowly.
- Scan as you reverse.
- If your vision is obscured ask someone to assist you.
The effects of natural forces acting on a vehicle when accelerating and braking.
The weight is transferred to the rear of the vehicle.
The rear tyres gain grip.
The front becomes lighter.
The front tyres loose grip.
The weight is transferred to the front of the vehicle.
The front tyres gain grip.
The rear becomes lighter.
The rear tyres loose grip.
A rear wheel drive car under acceleration has an advantage because the tyres have more grip which assists acceleration. A front wheel drive vehicle therefore is at a disadvantage as the front tyres loose grip
A vehicle is at its most stable.
When travelling in a straight line with the engine just driving the wheels.
The main purposes of a roundabout is to assist in the free flow of traffic with the minimum of controls and to reduce conflict points that occure at other types of junctions.
Providing everyone keeps to a fairly simple set of rules and drivers signal their intent at the appropriate time, traffic flow through the roundabout is safely increased.
Many people in Cyprus do not know how to negotiate a roundabout, so be aware that others will not follow the rules. There are other routes that are acceptable but our advice is to keep it simple.
In Cyprus the information sign at the approach to the roundabout will only be a very approximate representation of its layout.
Outlined are the basic rules in a series of diagrams.Roundabouts
Signals form an integral part of your overall driving plan that is the use and provision of information. Road position, speed and course are also signals of possible intention. With time you will become adept at predicting these signals in other road users, and using them to reinforce your own.
Advanced drivers only give a signal when another road user might benefit.
- If you decide a signal is appropriate, follow the Highway Code recommendation of Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre.
- If there is a possibility of confusion, clarify with an arm signal.
- Do not accept the signal of another road user as absolute proof of their intention. Look for supporting evidence such as slowing down and road position.
- Be sure to cancel your signal once the manoeuvre is complete.
Should be used for the benefit of other road users when you feel they may not have noticed you.
It is not to be used as a form of rebuke or sign of annoyance!
Hazard Warning Lights:
Only use these to tell other drivers you have stopped on the carriageway. They are not a licence to park on restricted areas! Nor are they to be used while driving in reduced visibility. A common occurrence in Cyprus.
Are used to indicate slowing down or stopping.
Remember: Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre.
Are only used to inform other drivers of your presence.
Arm or Hand Signals:
Used to reinforce other signals.
PROGRESSIVE BRAKING TECHNIQUE
Aim to make all braking manoeuvres in plenty of time. Foot pressure on the pedal should be progressive and increased steadily.
- A – Gently take up the initial free movement of the brake pedal.
- B – Increase the pressure smoothly until the required speed is lost.
- C – Relax the pedal pressure as the speed is lost. Release it just before stopping to prevent jerking.
When coming to a stop in traffic, you should be able to see the bottom of the rear tyres of the vehicle directly in front of you.
This will give you the advantages of:
- Room to manoeuvre if the vehicle in front should stall, roll back or have any other problems.
- Space to pull forward if a following vehicle is approaching the stationary traffic too fast.
Get the Right Gear!
You should aim to:
- Be in the correct gear for every road speed and traffic situation.
- Make all gear changes smoothly.
- Engage a chosen gear without going through an intermediate gear first. (Referred to as Block Changing)
- Know the approximate maximum road speed for each gear of the vehicle.
These key points will help you to make skillful use of the gears:
- Co-ordination of hand and foot movements.
- Recognize when to change gear by the sound of the engine.
- Choose the right gear for the road speed.
- Use the brakes rather than engine compression to slow the vehicle (except during hill descents and when there is a risk of skidding).
- Brake in good time to slow to the right road speed as you approach a hazard, and then select the appropriate gear.
- Match engine speed to road speed before you change down.
Choose your gear with care!
THE TWO SECOND RULE is a simple, effective way to work out the MINIMUM distance for following another vehicle in good road and weather conditions.t
In bad weather the distance should be doubled.
When the car in front passes a convenient landmark, such as a bridge or road sign.
Count one second – Count two seconds.
Alternatively, if you say ‘Only a fool breaks the two second rule’ fairly slowly this should take two seconds.
If you pass the landmark before you have counted two seconds, you are too close. Drop back and try the test again.
SAFE STOPPING DISTANCE
‘Never drive so fast that you cannot stop comfortably on your own side of the road, within the distance you can see to be clear.’
Be aware of:
- The braking capabilities of your vehicle.
- The type and condition of the road surface – in slippery or wet conditions braking distances increase greatly.
- The effects of cornering, braking and vehicle balance on tyre grip.
Correct use of the five phases of the system will give you a safe and methodical approach to hazards.
What is a Hazard?
Basically, anything which is potentially dangerous. Use your skills to recognize a hazard, plan for it and take the appropriate action.
The Three main categories of Hazard are:
- Physical features such as junctions, roundabouts and bends.
- The position or movement of other road users.
- Problems arising from variations in the road surface, weather and visibility.
Additional Roadside Hazards:
- Pedestrians – especially children.
- Parked vehicles – and their occupants.
- Pedal cycles – once again, especially children.
- Concealed junctions.
For hazards on the near side it may be more appropriate to steer a course closer to the crown of the road. This would have the benefits of (a) giving you a better view, (b) providing more space to manoeuvre should it be necessary, and (c) allow you to dominate your road position and convey your intentions to other road users.
However, the principle of safety should never be sacrificed for position!