All the way back on CBT, riders are taught to ‘see and be seen’; to try to put themselves in positions where other drivers have a line of sight with them in it, and to find position where they open up lines of sight into blind areas. That’s not a concept unique to post-test training.
As part of that explanation, new riders are also taught to look for eye contact. It might be a faulty concept (as the ‘Science of Being Seen’ presentation I deliver demonstrates – “he was looking right at me and still pulled out”) but if we can’t see the driver’s eyes then we’re not in his line of vision, and it doesn’t matter whether that’s because he’s looking the other way, because there are pedestrians or a post box on the pavement, or the car’s lined up with the door pillar in the way of his view of the bike.
So how do we go about educating riders to remember the issue, and recognise when it’s likely to affect them?
What we don’t do if we want to get the message over is produce a graphic like the one attached. The language that’s used is ridiculously over-dramatic and as a result, rather than educate, it predisposes the viewer to apportion blame, first to the driver for not being aware of the problem and second to the designer for not considering the issue.
If riders are ‘surprised’ by this as an issue, then we’re not getting the ‘No Surprise: No Accident’ message out, are we?