By Talya Adams
If you’re a motorcyclist and commute every day on your bike, the miles can take a toll on you. I’m not just talking physically either, I’m including mentally as well. This is especially true if you’re riding during rush hour traffic. It can be a lot to keep your cool, and not get upset by bad drivers.
In order to help you keep your cool and stay focused, I’m going to share my top three tips.
First things first, breathe. Sounds simple, but it’s vital to keeping a level head and giving yourself a moment of pause before you react in haste. Someone cuts you off, or drifts into your lane, take a moment. Take that deep breath, hold it momentarily before you release it, then exhale. In this short moment, you have a bit of time to reflect on how fortunate you are to have avoided being hit. It also gives you a chance to get some oxygen to your brain, because we frequently stop breathing when experiencing extreme stress.
My second tip is survey the situation. Normally, when I’ve avoided a close call, I look around for safe escape options to get away from the careless offender(s). Distracted drivers are likely to go back to their distraction, and it is unsafe to remain near them. So, survey the scene and put distance between yourself and the culprit.
Lastly, do not engage in dangerous scenarios. I’m sure we’ve all seen drivers with muscle cars, exotic cars, and crappy cars speeding on the highway. I get off work late some nights and on more than a few occasions I’ve seen cars racing each other on US 101, weaving in and out of traffic. The freeway traffic is lighter late at night, but not empty, and they often nearly run into other cars as they compete. It upsets me every time I see this happen.
So, I remind myself to stay away from these situations and drivers, and remain alert to what is going on around me. It is in my best interest to move out of their way and avoid being in a space they are hoping to occupy.
At the end of the day, my safety is my responsibility, and the best way I know to ensure it is to keep a cool head on the road. My ride is temporary, and I don’t want a momentary lapse in judgement to negatively affect my life for an extended amount of time.
Stay safe in these streets!