Today, I’d like to talk about blind spots and how they can affect a motorcyclist. We all know that cars have blind spots. We typically think about them as being behind the driver, and particularly over the left shoulder of the driver. Sometimes, the area over the driver’s right shoulder and the right-rear quarter panel are also thought of as blind spots.
There Are Also Blind Spots in The Front
What many people don’t realize, however, is that there are also blind spots towards the front of a driver’s vision. They’re created by what is called the aid pillars. Those are the pillars that frame the windshield, connecting the roof to the body of the car. It’s amazing how much can be blocked by that little bit of material that creates that pillar.
I have represented a number of motorcyclists who have been injured in intersection collisions, where the driver of the car has said: “I never saw the motorcycle. It’s like they came out of nowhere.” Well, “out of nowhere” typically means that the motorcyclist was hidden behind that aid pillar.
Here’s What to Do About That Front Blind Spot
Here’s what this means for you and me as we’re riding our motorcycles and we’re moving through traffic:
Consider that we’re coming to intersections where cars are entering into the traffic. This could be a road intersection or it could be where a driver is exiting a parking lot and is moving into traffic at a 90-degree angle,
Make Eye Contact
It’s imperative that we make eye contact with that driver. If we don’t see the eyes of the driver and confirm that the driver sees us, we have to assume that the driver doesn’t see us. This could well be because we are blocked by the aid pillar and are hidden in one of the driver’s forward blind spots.
So when you are approaching an intersection where a car’s going to enter into your driving path at a 90-degree angle, you must make eye contact with that driver.
How to Be Safe
In any event, always be prepared to take evasive action. It doesn’t hurt to cover the brake and it’s never a bad idea to slow down just a little bit when you think there may be a chance that a car might pull out into your right of way.