So it came as a surprise (I think not) to read the results of a survey, sponsored by Direct Line Insurance, where 800 drivers were asked to rate their own driving and 98% thought they were better than average! With so many good drivers about, who needs the IAM? Problem sorted eh? Obviously my tongue is stuck firmly in my cheek as I write this. The problems we have as SAM members are twofold: Firstly, how do we persuade our motorcycle riding friends and family that maybe they are not really the above average rider they think they are, and to come along to SAM to find out. Secondly (and this may offend some), how do we convince ourselves that despite taking and passing the IAM’s test, that we might not be as good as we sometimes thing we are? I’ll be the first to admit my guilt…. A few days ago I was riding on a 40 m.p.h. controlled two lane main road within Ipswich. The inside lane was very busy but moving fairly well and almost at the speed limit. I was using the “lane of least resistance”, i.e. the outside lane which had no traffic in it at all. I was at the speed limit and slowly overtaking the slightly slower vehicles in the inside lane. As I was passing a silver Suzuki Swift, the driver “suddenly” decided to come into my lane. He (or she) seemed to aim straight for my back wheel. Luckily I was in the right gear and a slight twist of the throttle shot me ahead of the impending collision. When my heart returned to its correct location (from my mouth), how do you think I felt? Angry? Yes partly, but with myself, but mainly embarrassment. How did I miss the signs that should have told me the Suzuki was coming out? There must have been some (I’m sure there wasn’t a flashing indicator). I guess I’d slipped into a false belief in my own abilities….I must do better in future. Now it’s your turn. Are you as good as you really think you are? Safe riding.
The SAM Observer September 2011
The September 2011 edition of "The SAM Observer"