THE MOTORCYCLE SAFETY FOUNDATION is opening the doors to rider perception with the fifth program in its community-based Host-an-Event series. The goal of the new Street Smart - Rider Perception program is to improve a rider's perceptive abilities when riding in traffic.
Poor perception puts a rider at a disadvantage. Motorcycle riding requires more than coordination and balance, so the Street Smart - Rider Perception program is designed to acquaint participants with their perceptive processes, help them understand how the brain and eyes work together to manage risk, and to develop useful perception techniques.
The highly interactive Street Smart - Rider Perception program utilizes images of traffic situations to illustrate what participants might encounter in the real world, as well as factors that affect perception, such as rider speed, lane position or path of travel. For example, during a small group activity, colorful "vision challenge" floor mats and oversized playing cards are used to demonstrate the extreme narrowness of central vision, among other visual characteristics, and to underscore the value of keeping the eyes moving while riding.
"Safe riding is as much a skill of the eyes and mind as it is of the hands and feet, perhaps more so," said Ray Ochs, MSF director of training systems. "Riding safely requires keen perception to search for clues, evaluate situations, and make smooth and accurate control decisions. Therefore, encouraging riders to improve their traffic perception skills is important."
Available for purchase through the MSF online store at www.msf-usa.org for $105, the Street Smart - Rider Perception program kit includes the Leader's Guide, data CD, 12 participant workbooks, four floor mats, and a deck of large playing cards. The 90-minute classroom-only event is suitable for year-round use and for up to a suggested maximum of 25 participants. An online, interactive sample of the program - called Rider Perception Challenge! - is available for free at http://www.msf-usa.org/riderperception.