Although there are no obvious blind spots like cars or trucks, visibility problems in motorcycles still exist and are often one of the causes of accidents. On the road, driver visibility is the maximum distance the vehicle driver can see and recognize surrounding objects. Visibility mainly depends on weather conditions and vehicle design. Vehicle parts on motorcycles that affect visibility include the front fairing, huge fuel tank and windshield.
From the rider's point of view, the most important factors affecting the field of vision are the design of the helmet, riding habits, the height of the rider and so on. Rider visibility is essential to road traffic safety. When the fairing (and windshield), rearview mirror, helmet and/or fuel tank block the driver’s view, blind spots may appear in front of the driver. Behind the rider, the presence of passengers and cargo may reduce visibility.
In the case of driving a car, the blind spot refers to the part blocked by the A-pillar or the road and surrounding areas that cannot be observed through the rearview mirror. Of course, it can be checked by briefly turning the head, and in addition, such as a camera or a distance sensor. The system can also assist in detecting vehicles or other objects in the blind zone, but some high-end configurations are not included in motorcycles.
The area most commonly referred to as the blind zone is the rear quarter blind zone, which is the area facing both sides of the rear of the vehicle. Vehicles behind on the adjacent lanes of the road may fall into these blind spots, and the driver may not be able to see them only through the rearview mirror. Other areas, sometimes called blind spots, are those areas that are too low to be visible, both behind and in front of the motorcycle. Similarly, when the helmet design hinders side view, the left or right area may also become a blind spot.
Front-end blind zone will cause problems in traffic conditions, such as roundabouts, crossroads and road intersections, and the area blocked by the front side when overtaking. The front-view blind zone is mainly affected by the following design standards.
The distance between the rider and the fairing
The width of the fairing
The color of the windshield of a sports motorcycle
The height of the rider relative to the windshield
The color and opening angle of the helmet lens
Influence of vehicle type
Generally speaking, the front blind spots of the front wheel fairing or the vehicle body are larger, and these blind spots are generated under the projection area of the road surface and the fairing. Obstacles on the road are partially or sometimes completely covered by huge fairings, and riders can sometimes control their vehicles based on experience alone.
The front dome of the scooter is large, so it also belongs to the same category. For example, the blind spot in front of an off-road vehicle can only hide small objects on the road; we can say that the blind spot is negligible, while the blind spot of a sports or station wagon can hide large objects and obstacles in the fairing area that is expected to cause an accident. Hidden on the road.
The effect of rider's height
The height of the rider also affects the visibility. In some motorcycles, the top line radius of the windshield fillet is large, and the fillet fillet intersects the driver's line of sight and causes visibility problems. Due to the steering restriction of the rearview mirror, riders with smaller heights will find that both front and rear vision problems are taken into account in sports motorcycles.
They also encountered difficulties in front view when riding in cruise vehicles, because cruise vehicles usually have a low seat position and a low slope toward the headlights. The rider can reduce the size of the blind spot or completely eliminate the blind spot by turning his head in the direction of the obstacle, which allows him to see the obstacle better and can better perceive the depth.
The effect of helmet design
But obviously, the helmet restricts the driver’s line of sight, thereby reducing the side angle of view. Without a helmet, our eyes can capture moving objects within 180 degrees. On both sides, we can observe these moving objects by turning our eyes and head. However, when we wear a helmet, the angle is reduced to 150 or 160 degrees, and it is difficult to measure movement beyond these angles. Therefore, to wear a helmet, it is indispensable to use a rear-view mirror and constantly turn the head left and right to reduce the blind spot of vision.
The influence of other design factors
Other design factors may prevent manufacturers from maximizing visibility, including safety, because narrow headlights cannot provide a better view at night. For sports motorcycles, aerodynamics does not allow designers to make motorcycles without a fairing. The inclination of the windshield is to reduce resistance, which also constitutes another limitation for the designer. The area covered by the rear-view mirror is affected by its size and shape. The rear-view mirror must provide sufficient rear vision and good aesthetics.
Several suggestions for improving the blind spot of the rider's vision
The height of the vehicle seat should be suitable for you. If not, you can adjust it.
Adjust the angle of the rear-view mirror. Try not to make the rear-view mirror smaller.
If you are cycling in a city, make the rearview mirror a little bit outward, which will improve the field of vision in the rear quarter blind zone and help when turning.
Do not remove any rearview mirrors.
Try to put the luggage within the width of the seat or the maximum width of the motorcycle.
Choose the right helmet and try to choose transparent lenses, which will provide a greater field of view when riding.