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Sorry mate, I didn’t see you

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Sixty-nine per cent of motorcyclists were cut-up by another road user who didn’t look properly, in the last six months, according to the IAM’s latest poll. Of those who experienced near misses, 86 per cent were forced to take evasive action.
These incidents are known as SMIDSYs – ‘sorry mate I didn’t see you’ – which is often the reaction of the perpetrator when these events result in accidents. Failure to look is a contributory factor in 29 per cent of serious collisions and 36 per cent of slight accidents according to IAM research.1

 • Seventy-three per cent of motorcyclists cited the driver not paying enough attention as one of the main factors for incidents of this type.
• Forty-three per cent of motorcyclists were involved in a near miss up to two times.
• Fifty-six per cent of motorcyclists had experienced a near miss with a cyclist.
Eighty-three per cent of drivers said that these incidents would decrease by improving drivers’ awareness of motorcyclists.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “SMIDSY moments are happening far too often, and very few people are prepared to take responsibility for their part in them. It’s always someone else’s fault. All road users need to be more aware of who they are sharing the road with, and the risks they present.
“Other road users’ intentions can often be guessed by their body language and position on the road, so ride defensively, and leave room so that if somebody does do something unexpected, you have time to deal with it.”
The IAM suggests top tips for bikers for sharing the road:

• Always assume that other road users may not have seen you
• When travelling in a straight line position yourself where a car driver would be sitting. This is where other road users will be looking
• Give drivers time to realise you’re there. Don’t arrive so fast you startle the driver
• Always leave plenty of space between yourself and other traffic
• Look well ahead to avoid needing to make sudden changes in direction for potholes
• Be seen. Big blocks of bright colour are better than broken up or patterned clothing, which effectively camouflages you. And always make sure you have your headlight on.

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