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Guest Speedy23
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Just spent a couple of hours on this site: http://www.survivalskills.co.uk/


This is not an advert - but go and have a look. There's lots of free advice on there which would be of benefit to most people on here (unless, of course, your name [strikeout]is[/strikeout] was Bandicota....tee hee!). Loads of useful, common-sense stuff. This bloke is a realist.


He runs training courses in Kent, Oxford and London.....having spent a good bit of time looking through the free stuff on his site, all I can say is what a sensible man! He knows what he's on about, and the fact that he is prepared to offer his advice for free means a lot.


Again, I will re-iterate - I am nothing to do with this guy but please, please have a look. It won't be wasted time, I promise you. I may well do one of his advanced courses myself at the Oxford venue as it's just down the road from me.


Cheers


S23.

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I'll echo the above (also not an advert).


His regular Facebook posts are always enlightening, and I have a copy of one of his books.


He's also behind the "Science of Being Seen" material in the Biker Down courses and does a lot of educational work on why other road users don't always see bikes

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Thanks for the heads up - I shall pop over and have a good read. (No doubt I'm going to be told that my super stealth look is a non-starter :shock: )

 

Actually he is very common sense approach and full stealth look has its place, stands out far better this time of year in daylight than high vis which blends into the yellowing trees and fields :thumb:


Good chap, heard him speak at biker down and very different from your usual high vis and lights.

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Liked the science of being seen stuff I’ve read.


The fat DVSA book you have to read to pass the theory test goes into motion camouflage/looming and how to break its effects which I thought was very forward thinking of them, simply written and easy to follow.


I re-read it after I’d been riding for almost a year without any incident and then 2 people didn’t see me. Two on the same day.

I mean they properly didn’t see me, one looked directly at me at then pulled into my immediate path at the last moment. Swerveing is highly underrated. I saw a look of complete horror on one of their faces when they saw me too late, they really hadn’t intended to ruin anyone’s day. Didn’t get back on the bike for a week.


I notice he talks about right of way a lot, just as an aside the term right of way has been ditched and now by the Highway Code and accompanying fat books only talk of ‘priority’ this was apparently to get people more into thinking which is the priority road and not that somethings their right of way.

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Thanks for the heads up - I shall pop over and have a good read. (No doubt I'm going to be told that my super stealth look is a non-starter :shock: )

 

It's an argument I have many a time with people, about contrast, so his views and the studies he brings up often validate my thoughts.


Many pictures that show someone "invisible" use a static image of a snapshot in time, and that's not real life as we're always moving and the background is changing. I've seen people in 'bright' colours in fog when I know me wearing all black will stand out more.

 

I notice he talks about right of way a lot, just as an aside the term right of way has been ditched and now by the Highway Code and accompanying fat books only talk of ‘priority’ this was apparently to get people more into thinking which is the priority road and not that somethings their right of way.

 

Quite often when I see him post about right of way he's almost illustrating the opposite, ie "just because you have 'right of way' doesn't mean someone won't pull out on you" as an attitude to approaching a hazard, as if he's mimicking the way people talk. I sit there quite a few times listening to people and they say "and even though I had right of way the other guy....."

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Movement is very key point and he highlights this with junctions and your approach as from usual riding position you can look like a gap in the traffic from certain angles so approach in a zigzag motion covers visibility to vehicles in the junction and waiting to turn into it plus movement instantly more recognisable to someone especially if they are not really looking at you, peripheral vision is purely movement detection and you're actually colour blind in that area anyway.

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Movement is very key point and he highlights this with junctions and your approach as from usual riding position you can look like a gap in the traffic from certain angles so approach in a zigzag motion covers visibility to vehicles in the junction and waiting to turn into it plus movement instantly more recognisable to someone especially if they are not really looking at you, peripheral vision is purely movement detection and you're actually colour blind in that area anyway.

 

Yer. That’s pretty much the essence of what the DVLA theory test book says, alter your road position to break the looming effect. He probably wrote it!


I’ve found a scarf flapping about helps, I see people’s eyes double take and fix on it, not the bike, the red scarf flapping. I notice a big difference with n without it, car drivers behind increase their following distance, they often drop back a metre or so more, I reckon it’s a good visual indicator of movement and speed that you can easily lose cacooned in a car. Mind you on the motorway after a while it flapping about is annoying on the neck, maybe I need a little cape!


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Movement is very key point and he highlights this with junctions and your approach as from usual riding position you can look like a gap in the traffic from certain angles so approach in a zigzag motion covers visibility to vehicles in the junction and waiting to turn into it plus movement instantly more recognisable to someone especially if they are not really looking at you, peripheral vision is purely movement detection and you're actually colour blind in that area anyway.

 

Yer. That’s pretty much the essence of what the DVLA theory test book says, alter your road position to break the looming effect. He probably wrote it!


I’ve found a scarf flapping about helps, I see people’s eyes double take and fix on it, not the bike, the red scarf flapping. I notice a big difference with n without it, car drivers behind increase their following distance, they often drop back a metre or so more, I reckon it’s a good visual indicator of movement and speed that you can easily lose cacooned in a car. Mind you on the motorway after a while it flapping about is annoying on the neck, maybe I need a little cape!


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I think capes should make a come back they are great.

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Today's facebook post is a good example of the sort of decent material Kevin posts https://www.facebook.com/SurvivalSkills/posts/2204464189586155?__tn__=K-R


A lot of it you probably know in the back of your mind, but I find reading it is a decent refresher and brings a lot of that road experience back to the forefront of your brain again

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Movement is very key point and he highlights this with junctions and your approach as from usual riding position you can look like a gap in the traffic from certain angles so approach in a zigzag motion covers visibility to vehicles in the junction and waiting to turn into it plus movement instantly more recognisable to someone especially if they are not really looking at you, peripheral vision is purely movement detection and you're actually colour blind in that area anyway.

 

Yer. That’s pretty much the essence of what the DVLA theory test book says, alter your road position to break the looming effect. He probably wrote it!


I’ve found a scarf flapping about helps, I see people’s eyes double take and fix on it, not the bike, the red scarf flapping. I notice a big difference with n without it, car drivers behind increase their following distance, they often drop back a metre or so more, I reckon it’s a good visual indicator of movement and speed that you can easily lose cacooned in a car. Mind you on the motorway after a while it flapping about is annoying on the neck, maybe I need a little cape!


">

 

Just watch that scarf, Isadora!

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Movement is very key point and he highlights this with junctions and your approach as from usual riding position you can look like a gap in the traffic from certain angles so approach in a zigzag motion covers visibility to vehicles in the junction and waiting to turn into it plus movement instantly more recognisable to someone especially if they are not really looking at you, peripheral vision is purely movement detection and you're actually colour blind in that area anyway.

 

Yer. That’s pretty much the essence of what the DVLA theory test book says, alter your road position to break the looming effect. He probably wrote it!


I’ve found a scarf flapping about helps, I see people’s eyes double take and fix on it, not the bike, the red scarf flapping. I notice a big difference with n without it, car drivers behind increase their following distance, they often drop back a metre or so more, I reckon it’s a good visual indicator of movement and speed that you can easily lose cacooned in a car. Mind you on the motorway after a while it flapping about is annoying on the neck, maybe I need a little cape!


">

 

Just watch that scarf, Isadora!

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Quite often when I see him post about right of way he's almost illustrating the opposite, ie "just because you have 'right of way' doesn't mean someone won't pull out on you" as an attitude to approaching a hazard, as if he's mimicking the way people talk. I sit there quite a few times listening to people and they say "and even though I had right of way the other guy....."

 

I guess it's something that those of us who have been riding a long time take for granted, but these are good tips for newer riders.


There's no use in being 'in the right' when you're in a hospital bed, best to ride like no-one has seen you and never assume they have or will give way as they should.


While there have always been people who don't look, I do think people's attitudes on the roads has gotten a lot worse over the last 10 years or so. People seem to take it personally now if they are held up due to the fact other people are on the road and have a high sense of entitlement. Also bikers are becoming a less common site and so people aren't looking for them as much.


Another good book I can recommend to newer (and older) riders is Roadcraft (the police handbook) which covers a lot of advanced riding techniques and some good points on frame of mind. Sometimes our ego and 'seeing red' can get us into big trouble, and it takes a lot of effort to stay calm, but it really helps with control.

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Evening everybody, I'm Kevin Williams, the person behind Survival Skills and 'The Science Of Being Seen' or SOBS for short. I got a tip-off today that a post about Survival Skills had gone up here, so popped in to look, as you do - and I can only say a very big thanks to everyone who's commented positively on Survival Skills, the riding tips on the site itself and on FB, my books and my work with Biker Down.


I was particularly interested in this statement:


"The fat DVSA book you have to read to pass the theory test goes into motion camouflage/looming and how to break its effects which I thought was very forward thinking of them, simply written and easy to follow."


I have to admit I have a shelf-full of DSA / DVSA books going back to the mid-90s and I usually buy one, read it, then wonder where it's changed since the last edition... so I must admit I haven't got the very latest and I was very interested to hear that information has now made its way into the book.


It ties in with my experience on the Met Police BikeSafe course earlier this year - they also mentioned these effects.


Unfortunately, I wasn't consulted lol. I've only got an MSc so I guess I wasn't important enough ;) Instead they went to a chap called Cris Burgess who's a professor (psychology I think) to validate the work.


I spent years as a courier before becoming a bike trainer so have plenty of experience of the 'looked but failed to see' problems we face as bikers, and when I started CBT training in 95 I was a bit shocked to see that the advice barely got beyond "wear hi-vis and turn your lights on" - the same advice that was first handed out 20 years earlier.


That just happened to coincide with the internet really starting to open up access to scientific research so I started looking personally into the problem. I have been writing about conspicuity issues, the problems with relying on DRLs and hi-vis, and the benefit of lateral motion pretty much since that time. By the early 2000s I was refining my ideas - there's a tip written about 2002 on my website to that effect, and I certainly mentioned the problem in my MAG column which ran from 2002 to 2014 (which I've just relaunched as it happens).


When I got talking with James Sanderson from Kent Fire and Rescue Service about what we could put together for the third pro-active module for Biker Down, I went away and really started digging the background research out. And when I got invited to tour New Zealand on the Shiny Side Up tour earlier this year and delivers SOBS to the Kiwi riders, I decided to put the SOBS website together, and that's what I've been working on for the last 9 months.


When Biker Down first started delivering SOBS in Kent, it was in 2011. As far as I know, it was the first safety programme anywhere that tackled the issues in a logical and comprehensive way. And it didn't go too well with some people who still thought that bibs and DRLs were the answer ;) However, Biker Down is now run by over half the UK's FRSs and a good portion of those run a simplified version of SOBS.


As we all want bikers to be safer, I'm very pleased that the DVSA have picked it up and run with it. Of course, a little credit to the fire services running Biker Down and yours truly would have been nice ;) The BikeSafe instructor back in May seemed a little nonplussed when I mentioned I was the created of SOBS :)


Anyway, sorry for the long post. Just thought the background might interest you. You can find the SOBS website at http://scienceofbeingseen.wordpress.com. It's still a 'work in progress', I've a few more pages to go up, and really must get a proper domain!


Hopefully I'll find a bit of time to pop in again.

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Nice of you to post a hello and the background. :thumb:


Do you happen to know has there been a study done that shows what percentage of bikers wearing hi-viz are involved in accidents. I was wondering if percentage wise your less likely to be involved in say a SMIDSY in hi-viz.

You’d only need to know what percentage of bikers wear hi-viz and if this tallies with the percentage of accidents.


I’m not sure I’d say the DVSA has “run” with the motion camouflage thing, it’s in there but it’s not as prevalent as other parts which are repeated ad nauseum. I answered about 800 practice Qs before my theory test and none where on looming or how we’re not seen. Only the high-viz, lights and vehicle distances came up.


On the CBT (for me) they went into quite a lot of detail with matchbox cars and other vehicles to demonstrate how n why you wouldn’t be seen. Sadly they just don’t have enough time in 1 day to squeeze it all in.


Im must be very slow today I only just got the ‘spindoctor’ thing as well! Doh.

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BIKEVIS do a modulator for their small LED lights. Had some on the 1250 when I bought it. The LEDs twinkled, not flashed and they did attract your eyes. However both the LEDs and the modulator stopped working :(

https://www.bikevis.com/product/bikevis-podmod-motorcycle-light-modulator/

Since been replaced with different LEDs but not the modulator.

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Nice of you to post a hello and the background. :thumb:

 

No worries! Nice to get a positive write-up :)

 


Do you happen to know has there been a study done that shows what percentage of bikers wearing hi-viz are involved in accidents. I was wondering if percentage wise your less likely to be involved in say a SMIDSY in hi-viz.

You’d only need to know what percentage of bikers wear hi-viz and if this tallies with the percentage of accidents.

 

Now, there's a great question. Guess what? I can't find that relatively simple answer!


I have a reference somewhere (I'm madly cross referencing things for the SOBS website as we speak) which refers to the Motorcycle Accident In-Depth Study (MAIDS) carried out by ACEM last decade and if I remember right it was 69% of riders involved in collisions where using conspicuity aids - either / both hi-vis and Day Riding Lights DRLs. Unfortunately we don't know how many were using the aids and didn't crash so there's no comparison figure. There was a well-publicised BMJ article a few years back from New Zealand which claimed to show a positive effect but it was riddled with inconsistencies. What I can say is that there has been no obvious reduction in junction crash stats between 1975 and current, when riders first started using the aids, which is what you'd expect to see.


 


I’m not sure I’d say the DVSA has “run” with the motion camouflage thing, it’s in there but it’s not as prevalent as other parts which are repeated ad nauseum. I answered about 800 practice Qs before my theory test and none where on looming or how we’re not seen. Only the high-viz, lights and vehicle distances came up.


Ah well, at least it's a start!

 


On the CBT (for me) they went into quite a lot of detail with matchbox cars and other vehicles to demonstrate how n why you wouldn’t be seen. Sadly they just don’t have enough time in 1 day to squeeze it all in.

 

I use to do that too... had an Early Learning Centre play mat, went round it visiting all the hazards... junctions, pedestrian crossings, busy town streets, rural roads, roundabout, traffic signals and so on. Got told off by the DSA (as was) for not running down the list of topics in the 'guidance to instructors'.

 

 

Im must be very slow today I only just got the ‘spindoctor’ thing as well! Doh.

 

:) it's been my forum user name since 2001 lol

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BIKEVIS do a modulator for their small LED lights. Had some on the 1250 when I bought it. The LEDs twinkled, not flashed and they did attract your eyes. However both the LEDs and the modulator stopped working :(

https://www.bikevis.com/product/bikevis-podmod-motorcycle-light-modulator/

Since been replaced with different LEDs but not the modulator.

 

I'm still digging out research on modulators.


Aside from the tiny fact that they are illegal in the UK, what I have seen suggests that they are most likely to be effective at long range - there's a US paper from North Dakota IIRC which talks about enhancing detection range at 1000 ft (or 300-odd metres). The problem with that is pretty obvious - not many UK roads are that straight! And even if you are seen 300 metres away, so what? The crucial moment is when you're 20 or 30 metres away.


My guess is that if they have a function it is on long straight roads of the sort you find in the US and Australia in terms of helping a driver about to overtake into the bike's path to spot it and back out. I'm not convinced they do much in urban areas in the UK. I'd say that there's also a risk of being taken for a cycle in the UK too.

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Hi [mention]The Spin Doctor[/mention] As a result of this thread I've started following your FB page, very informative. What's your views on yellow head lights on bikes ? I ask because since fitting a yellow Ventura lens protector on my previous & current bike I have definitely noticed I'm being noticed more (too many noticed in that sentence) my oppo has now fitted one to his bike & in my mirrors I can say he doesn't blend in with the sea of car headlights. The only downside I think is I seem to get blocked more when filtering & I wonder if it's drivers thinking I'm a foreign bike ( brexit & all that)

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When I got talking with James Sanderson from Kent Fire and Rescue Service about what we could put together for the third pro-active module for Biker Down...

 

That's where I saw you then on the Kent firebike course at brands hatch! A fantastic course that was..


Welcome to the forum :cheers:

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[mention]The Spin Doctor[/mention] From what I could ascertain from all the studies I read when I was genning up on if I was likely to die if I took up motorcycling there’s a sparcity of decent research and little agreement on anything.

I did read some interesting stuff I’d really like to re-read but I just can’t remember enough detail to find it and I wondered if you might be able to piece it together and tell me who it is I’m after, I think it’s an old one-


He’s an American motorcyclist who’s been writing articles for riding magazines for decades n decades. He asked the readers to tell him about any of the accidents they had no matter how big or small with details of what happened. He received many hundreds of responses and analysed them collating the data to give some interesting results. If I remember correctly the two that really stuck out were about severe accidents and fatalities-

Firstly that it isn’t your age thats the most important factor in an accident it’s the number of years riding experience with serious accidents peaking with 3-4 years riding experience.

Secondly that all recorded motorcycle accidents stats are based on when the emergency services are called which is only a tiny percentage of all accidents. Around 80% of the time the rider jumps up sharpish and gets themself and their bike home.


Any ideas who this is? I’d love to look at the graphs again.

Edited by Slowlycatchymonkey
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[mention]Tankbag[/mention] it's probably everyone pausing over nostalgia from the 80s when they had a Ford Cortina with yellow headlights.


On a serious note could be the fact it's something different causing a 'what was that' second look which is good until it becomes common and people stop noticing again.

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