{mosimage}My wheels can take me around; they can also take me down. That is what happens in “the dead spot.” Sounds like a pitch to a movie, but I just wanted to make a point. The place I am talking about is the place you learn about in driver’s ed called the blind spot; however, for a motorcycle it is really the dead spot.
    Fayetteville is heavy with traffic. Every day, thousands of people enter and leave the base and they have a lot on their minds. People are picking up or dropping off their kids. Fayetteville is a town in motion. It seems everyone is distracted and not paying attention to vehicles around them or the drive home. Reilly, Ramsey, Raeford roads, the mall area and everywhere is congested with heavy traffic. As a motorcyclist you have to not only know what you are doing on a bike, you have to anticipate and know what others are doing as well.
    So what is a blind spot? The blind spot is an area of the vehicle that the driver cannot see around or into. This includes the back, back left and back right surrounding areas of the vehicle. If you are in someone’s blind spot and you are on a motorcycle you are in a very dangerous place. This spot is so big that you could be located beside the vehicle thinking the driver knows you are there, when he doesn’t. If the driver cannot see you, he will hit you if he moves over into your lane. Cars hit other cars all of the time. If a car’s blind spot is so big that it cannot see a car, they certainly cannot see a motorcycle. Same goes for 18-wheelers, but they have more surface area and therefore, more dead spots to content with.
    So, what is your best defense? Never let yourself get into a spot in which the other driver cannot see you. As you come along the side another car, the opposing driver’s blind spot runs from the front of your tire along their vehicle to your left or right rear bumper. The driver is limited by his right, left, or rear view mirrors; his blind spot is your dead spot. The heavier the traffic the more likely a driver is to maneuver suddenly, so be alert and careful. If you find yourself in someone’s blind spot then move forward or drop back. Just get out of it and become visible to the other driver.
    As the driver of the motorcycle you too have blind spots. You can only see what is behind you by your left and right mirrors — you cannot see directly behind you. You may be limited by a passenger, your helmet, or other obstacles. Look before moving into another lane. Don’t trust your mirrors. Turn your head. Use your turn signals at least 500 yards before you turn. Use hand signals before the turn.
    Know your surroundings. You are the only one that can protect you. If you get hit by another car it doesn’t matter whose fault it is. It will be you that will pay. Protect yourself. Remember: stay alert, stay alive.
    If there is a topic that you would like to discuss, please send your comments and suggestions to motorcycle4fun@aol.com. RIDE SAFE!

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