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Hide and Seek

Do you remember playing Hide and Seek as a child? Because you often played the game at home or in the same neighborhood yard, you probably had some favorite hiding places. Regardless of how good your secret spots were, you were likely to always be looking for more and better places to hide. Have you ever considered playing Hide and Seek on your motorcycle in traffic?

"As ridiculous as that sounds, perhaps you should consider playing the Hide and Seek game."

As ridiculous as that sounds, perhaps you should consider playing the game. You’re probably saying, “We’re virtually invisible to other drivers on the road so why would we want to purposely try to hide while we’re riding?” Being unseen by other drivers on the road should concern you. You should be doing things to make yourself more visible in traffic. So why would you want to play the game?

For one thing, you may already be playing the game at times; perhaps unconsciously. You may be doing things unintentionally that makes it harder for others to see you on the road. But more importantly, if you can identify better hiding spots in traffic, you can learn ways to be more conspicuous on the road. At least you can make conscious decisions about your visibility and understand the consequences those choices have for you and other drivers.

One of the easiest hiding spots to find is in someone’s blind spot. Mirrors help drivers see what is behind and along side of their vehicle to some extent, but the view is restricted by the position of those mirrors and the vehicle itself. The best place to hide is in a position where you cannot see the driver in the vehicle’s mirrors. Seeing the driver in the mirror does not guarantee you will be seen, but you can’t be seen if you can’t see the driver.

Another good hiding spot is tucked tightly to the rear of  a large vehicle like a delivery or over the road truck. While enjoying the turbulent free air directly behind a big vehicle, you can avoid being seen by both the truck’s driver and remain hidden from oncoming vehicles. Unfortunately, the back of the rig ahead will also obstruct your view of anyone waiting to turn or pull out right after the truck.

Riding trailer hitch centered and close to the back of any large vehicle like a mini-van or n SUV can also hide you from the vehicles you are approaching. Although you may be able to see them through the windows directly in front of you, these drivers won’t be able to see you. Likewise, in this position, you will probably be less likely to see impending problems until the last minute.

Another less obvious hiding place is in the left or right third of the lane when being followed by a vehicle with day time running lights. A driver looking to turn left may only see two headlights and recognize it as a car. In effect, you have just disappeared from that driver’s sight. Riding in the center of the lane in this situation might cause the oncoming driver to see three lights and take a second look. Of course this would cause you to lose the game of hide and seek.

While it is not wise to hide in traffic, understanding where those hiding spots are can help you avoid being in them. Making sure you are seen on the road should be a big part of your riding strategy. Being seen and seeing what’s happening around you are key to your survival on the road.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!