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Thread: Safety Glance / Lifesaver?

  1. #1
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    Safety Glance / Lifesaver?

    What are you guy's feelings on safety glances/lifesavers on entering roundabouts, for taking first exit/left, second exit/straight through, and third exit/right?

    I'm in the habit of using a quick glance left on entry, regardless of which exit I'm taking. A couple of guys I've spoken with reckon that's unnecessary if lined-up to the right on entry for taking the third exit/right, and probably unnecessary if lined-up for taking the second exit/straight through. They do agree to a safety glance/lifesaver to the left on entry if taking the first exit/left, as that's effectively a left turn.

    Obviously I'm talking about these safety glances/lifesavers in addition to good overall observation.

  2. #2
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    It's your neck! Do what seems safe to you under the circs that prevail at the time.

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    I'd argue that if you're making a turn or changing position then a life saver or shoulder check should always be considered. I try to always shoulder check before a turn - right or left and both sides when pulling away, especially in an urban setting.

    When entering a roundabout to turn right, i.e. past the 12 o clock position and in the offside lane - On the approach you will have been observing all around and a shoulder check to the left may not be required - some roundabouts offer better views than others.

    During the manoeuvre I would glance into each of the entrances I passed to ensure some other vehicle wasn't joining the r/bout without having seen me, and also fit in a shoulder check before I changed position/lane whilst negotiating the roundabout and again before I began the turn at the exit I want to take.

    It takes but a second and may well be the difference between safe and not safe!

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotboxer View Post
    It's your neck! Do what seems safe to you under the circs that prevail at the time.
    This.

    There are no prizes for the rider who can do the minimum number of shoulder checks, doing less does not make you more of a riding god.

  5. #5
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    As an instructor this is what we teach for the DAS test, we train students to think about each situation rather than just do things by rote because they think that is what the book says and is what the examiner wants to see.

    1. Taking first exit left - your approach position should be in the centre of your lane therefore there is no room on your left for a vehicle so no left lifesaver required, think about it, where is a vehicle going to appear from? - unless you may have a motorcycle/moped/cyclist right behind you who might just decide to enter that space then consider a lifesaver.

    2. Following the road ahead second exit. As above you approach in the centre of the left hand lane and exactly the same reasoning applies; what is needed though is a right hand shoulder check between the first and second exit just before you leave the roundabout. This is to check that a driver has not entered the roundabout in the right hand lane and is straight lining it and may be about to cut you up on the exit. This observation is not needed on a small single lane roundabout because there is no room for a vehicle if you are positioned in the centre of the lane.

    3. Turning right third exit. Approach in the centre of the right hand lane, on entering the roundabout consider a left hand lifesaver if there is a vehicle in that lane, after you switch from the right hand to the left hand indicator then take a left hand lifesaver before coming across the lane to exit in a straight line which is the quickest and shortest route off the roundabout. The lifesaver is not required on a small roundabout because, again, there is no room for a vehicle and where will it have come from in the few seconds that you are on the roundabout?

    The only two observations that must always be applied in the above situations is the right hand shoulder check when following the road ahead and the left hand lifesaver when exiting right. Note that when following the road ahead it is an observation only as there is no change of lane, but when exiting right it is a lifesaver as it immediately precedes a lane change.

    We try to teach students to think about each situation and deal with it on its merits rather than apply rigid rules as the highway is never that black and white. Carry out an observation when it is needed but don't execute them when there is no requirement as it takes away focus from looking ahead, looking where you are going and that is where your next hazard is likely to be. It also makes them much smoother riders.

    Hope this helps.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhaedrusMC View Post
    What are you guy's feelings on safety glances/lifesavers on entering roundabouts, for taking first exit/left, second exit/straight through, and third exit/right?

    I'm in the habit of using a quick glance left on entry, regardless of which exit I'm taking. A couple of guys I've spoken with reckon that's unnecessary if lined-up to the right on entry for taking the third exit/right, and probably unnecessary if lined-up for taking the second exit/straight through. They do agree to a safety glance/lifesaver to the left on entry if taking the first exit/left, as that's effectively a left turn.

    Obviously I'm talking about these safety glances/lifesavers in addition to good overall observation.
    Simple really - if you are going to change your position on the road or make a turn then check that you are not going to come into conflict with another vehicle before you change position - doesn't matter if it's a roundabout or anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Snooty View Post
    As an instructor this is what we teach for the DAS test, we train students to think about each situation rather than just do things by rote because they think that is what the book says and is what the examiner wants to see.

    1. Taking first exit left - your approach position should be in the centre of your lane therefore there is no room on your left for a vehicle so no left lifesaver required, think about it, where is a vehicle going to appear from? - unless you may have a motorcycle/moped/cyclist right behind you who might just decide to enter that space then consider a lifesaver.

    2. Following the road ahead second exit. As above you approach in the centre of the left hand lane and exactly the same reasoning applies; what is needed though is a right hand shoulder check between the first and second exit just before you leave the roundabout. This is to check that a driver has not entered the roundabout in the right hand lane and is straight lining it and may be about to cut you up on the exit. This observation is not needed on a small single lane roundabout because there is no room for a vehicle if you are positioned in the centre of the lane.

    3. Turning right third exit. Approach in the centre of the right hand lane, on entering the roundabout consider a left hand lifesaver if there is a vehicle in that lane, after you switch from the right hand to the left hand indicator then take a left hand lifesaver before coming across the lane to exit in a straight line which is the quickest and shortest route off the roundabout. The lifesaver is not required on a small roundabout because, again, there is no room for a vehicle and where will it have come from in the few seconds that you are on the roundabout?

    The only two observations that must always be applied in the above situations is the right hand shoulder check when following the road ahead and the left hand lifesaver when exiting right. Note that when following the road ahead it is an observation only as there is no change of lane, but when exiting right it is a lifesaver as it immediately precedes a lane change.

    We try to teach students to think about each situation and deal with it on its merits rather than apply rigid rules as the highway is never that black and white. Carry out an observation when it is needed but don't execute them when there is no requirement as it takes away focus from looking ahead, looking where you are going and that is where your next hazard is likely to be. It also makes them much smoother riders.

    Hope this helps.
    So no "straight lining" roundabouts (in the absence of other traffic) while exiting straight ahead ?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonkey donkey View Post
    This.

    There are no prizes for the rider who can do the minimum number of shoulder checks, doing less does not make you more of a riding god.
    What he said +1

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    This could be a six pager. All the riding Gods will along

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonkey donkey View Post
    There are no prizes for the rider who can do the minimum number of shoulder checks, doing less does not make you more of a riding god.
    Agreed. I've personally no interest in becoming a riding god, and I'll always be analytical/critical of my own riding - other's perception of my riding is far less important to me than my personal satisfaction with my riding (tests taken to ensure my riding passes muster for an instructor excepted of course). But doing too much/too many (safety glances), or allowing them to linger, could interfere with forward observation & control of the bike, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Snooty View Post
    As an instructor this is what we teach for the DAS test, we train students to think about each situation rather than just do things by rote because they think that is what the book says and is what the examiner wants to see.
    Agreed. And I believe there's a challenge with some test candidates (particularly in preparation for a driving test), who may be looking for instruction/training that will best position them to pass their test, rather than to ride well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Snooty View Post
    1. Taking first exit left - your approach position should be in the centre of your lane therefore there is no room on your left for a vehicle so no left lifesaver required, think about it, where is a vehicle going to appear from? - unless you may have a motorcycle/moped/cyclist right behind you who might just decide to enter that space then consider a lifesaver.
    And in reality, the possibility of being surprised by a motorcycle/moped/cyclist right behind you is minimal, as you will have been scanning your mirrors as part of normal riding. But there is always that chance that your last mirror scan missed something or that something has developed since then, no? And in a test scenario, unless the candidate does perform some sort of glance to the left, how will the tester know that the candidate is making any observation to check for those possibilities? For roundabouts with a single approach lane, we'd be positioned to the left of the lane, closing down any "invitation space", so perhaps less of an issue then, no?


    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Snooty View Post
    2. Following the road ahead second exit. As above you approach in the centre of the left hand lane and exactly the same reasoning applies; what is needed though is a right hand shoulder check between the first and second exit just before you leave the roundabout. This is to check that a driver has not entered the roundabout in the right hand lane and is straight lining it and may be about to cut you up on the exit. This observation is not needed on a small single lane roundabout because there is no room for a vehicle if you are positioned in the centre of the lane.
    There are some small roundabouts where we operate where all four approaches are single lane, but the road-width in the roundabout allows (prompts) traffic to treat it as a two-lane roundabout. Couple this with ubiquitous ignorance and absence of common sense, many drivers will approach signalling right (appearing to be heading for the right/third exit), but after the first exit will signal left and drift left to take the second/straight-through exit. So I'd personally still be wary of that possibility, and will usually throw a quick glance right to check for them (perhaps along with or just before my glance left prior to exit - whatever suits the circumstances).


    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Snooty View Post
    3. Turning right third exit. Approach in the centre of the right hand lane, on entering the roundabout consider a left hand lifesaver if there is a vehicle in that lane, after you switch from the right hand to the left hand indicator then take a left hand lifesaver before coming across the lane to exit in a straight line which is the quickest and shortest route off the roundabout. The lifesaver is not required on a small roundabout because, again, there is no room for a vehicle and where will it have come from in the few seconds that you are on the roundabout?
    For similar reasons to above, I'll usually throw in a quick glance left, even on those smaller roundabouts.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Snooty View Post
    The only two observations that must always be applied in the above situations is the right hand shoulder check when following the road ahead and the left hand lifesaver when exiting right. Note that when following the road ahead it is an observation only as there is no change of lane, but when exiting right it is a lifesaver as it immediately precedes a lane change.

    We try to teach students to think about each situation and deal with it on its merits rather than apply rigid rules as the highway is never that black and white. Carry out an observation when it is needed but don't execute them when there is no requirement as it takes away focus from looking ahead, looking where you are going and that is where your next hazard is likely to be. It also makes them much smoother riders.

    Hope this helps.
    Agreed. That notion I've bolded is bang on IMO - observation should be dynamic/organic, appropriate for your current circumstances rather than being done in accordance with a formula or set of rules.

    I've recently qualified and begun working as an instructor myself, and I'm keen that I'm not imparting any of my own behaviours/preferences/habits if they're bogus, hence me asking this on here (as well as discussing it with colleagues). I'm seeing students that want formulas/rules to follow; presumably they think those will be better or safer than deciding for themselves. Obviously that's something they need to change.

    One issue I'm seeing (and the reason behind me asking about this in the first place) is an over-use of safety glances (as I said above - too many or letting them linger), where they do interfere with forward and overall observation, control of the bike, and maintaining correct road position. It's like someone has told them to "just do loads of lifesavers and you'll be grand!" But I had one student who said he was failed for "too much observation" [sic]. The tester's report worded it differently - basically the tester felt the guy was barely looking forward/ahead at all on roundabouts due to his over-use of lifesavers.


    Thanks for your replies folks.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonkey donkey View Post
    This.

    There are no prizes for the rider who can do the minimum number of shoulder checks, doing less does not make you more of a riding god.
    This

    Quote Originally Posted by Engineer View Post
    Simple really - if you are going to change your position on the road or make a turn then check that you are not going to come into conflict with another vehicle before you change position - doesn't matter if it's a roundabout or anything else.
    and this

    It really is that simple, isn't it?

  12. #12
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    Observation, observation, observation...it's the 3 things that keep you safe don't stop doing it because someone else thinks you don't need to.
    Sell my bike?
    I would rather stick wasps up my arse !

  13. #13
    Every observation is a question, do you need to ask it?

    I'm just back from taking a DAS bike lesson and pretty much the above is what I'm looking for at this level, so once the basics of observation have been 'taught' it's up to the rider to think do I need to ask a question ...... not for someone to say yes you need one here or there.
    KEA

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by PhaedrusMC View Post

    I'm in the habit of using a quick glance left on entry, regardless of which exit I'm taking. No harm in it

    A couple of guys I've spoken with reckon that's unnecessary if lined-up to the right on entry for taking the third exit/right, consider what's to the left? as your initial move is to the left)and probably unnecessary if lined-up for taking the second exit/straight through.left or right shoulder check on exit They do agree to a safety glance/lifesaver to the left on entry if taking the first exit/left, as that's effectively a left turn. Pointless as you've already moved to the left.
    ......
    KEA

  15. #15
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    Be a thinking rider not a robot but the old message i got drummed in to me was sage advise, never put your bike were your eyes haven't been first


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadcraft-Rider View Post
    ................ never put your bike were your eyes haven't been first


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    That is just about as succinct as one can possibly state it

    P.S. It is 'where' not 'were' by the way

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