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Thread: Target Fixation

  1. #1
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    Default Target Fixation

    'Fixating' on something means not being able to take your attention (your eyes, for example) away from it. In the case of riding motorcycles, this leads to the phenomena wherein we tend to take our motorcycles in the direction we are looking. This is usually described with an example familiar to all -- that if you see a pothole in the street ahead of you and don't take your eyes off it, you are likely to hit it. Things actually get a lot more serious than hitting potholes when on the road. An oncoming truck, a crashed car, a fallen tree or a dog lying dead on the road could replace the pothole. Don't look at the oncoming truck/tree/pothole; work out your escape route to the left or right of the danger and fixate on this path instead.




    In most cases, you can simply steer around it with little or no braking. Braking usually is and should be the last option. Accelerating and steering out of trouble is a lot easier. If you are following someone that you want to pass, don’t look at him. Look at that little piece of track that he has left open and go to it. When moving through traffic, don't look at and fixate in the vehicles. Look at the gaps between them; imagine these gaps as pulsating spaces that keep changing shape according to the traffic. Ride through these spaces, searching out the next before you pass through the previous one. But use your peripheral vision to keep aware of the vehicle you are passing changing direction. Constantly scan the area around you, and continually provide yourself with escape routes. If something suddenly appears in front of you, simply look to your escape route, and counter-steer towards it.

    Photo: Avoid following other bikes at close gaps and always keep your eyes on the road ahead instead of getting fixated to the tail of the vehicle in front of you.




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    Last edited by Old Fox; 12-29-2009 at 05:08 PM. Reason: Picture added
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  2. #2
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    Default Target Fixation

    I would like to add some thing on obstacle. Other than those mentioned ones there are a few more obstacles like dogs(not dead ones), cows and other animals. For a better escape route we have to know the characteristics of the animal,observe them, i mean the way it is going to behave after seeing an vehicle.

    1) Animals like dogs, sheep's turn around and go back the way they came when they see and oncoming vehicle i.e. if a dog is coming from left and is in the mid of the road, they see a vehicle, they normally will go back, so better to take your bike towards the way they are facing initially i.e. right of the dog

    2)If there is a cow or a bull, they wont bother even if a truck is coming , they will continue their way. So if they are crossing from left to right, try to cross the road from their back side even if there is ample space in front of them, its safe.

    3)If there is a hen or duck on the road they will follow a random pattern so be careful on those cases, but they generally behave like dogs.


    This are things which i observed,Hope it helps. If anybody has observed anything more specific please share.

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    The most important rule I have learnt is,

    1) Look where you want to go.

    If you look at the back of a car on the motorway, when the car brakes suddenly you will rear end him as that is where you were looking.

    2) 70% of the braking is done with the front wheel, use them as much as possible in a situation where you have to brake suddenly.
    If BHP is power than I consider myself as GOD.

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    found some videos on target fixation



    the second one is amazing, pretend that the camera is your vision, i found that the bike in the video actually goes wherever you look, i was looking at the guy who fell of his bike and i couldn't take my eyes off him and... then... pow

    Vishal Wagh likes this.

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    Question : On high speeds, target fixation can be caused due to riders slow reaction time ? (say a pothole)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gautam View Post
    Question : On high speeds, target fixation can be caused due to riders slow reaction time ? (say a pothole)
    really helpful tip for young bikers !!

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    Few cents from my side.

    In many cases we ride behind four wheeler, especially on narrow roads or even on 2 lane highway. Try not be in the middle of 4 wheeler as 4 wheelers have much more space between right and left wheel that they avoid any pathhole easily by going over it. If we are riding at the middle portion of the 4 wheeler, chances are we are going get hit by that blind pathhole, which could cause an imbalance. So while riding behind 4 wheeler, make sure you follow their wheels, either on left one or right one, this will help us to react on the pathhole or even we can avoid it by maneuvering our bike.

    Please correct me if anything wrong stated here and also if you can add something to which I posted then that would be great!

    Cheers!

    - Lalit
    Vanquish and Chakrapani like this.

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    Sometimes when you are riding faster and if someone overtakes you in much higher speeds and slips into traffic, you might tend to push yourself more to reach him and end up in Target fixation.
    Try to slow down or Avoid following him and if you feel he/she is risky try to maintain the other lane and cover your brakes. Chances are more that he/she might collapse the traffic ahead of you.

    Personal experience
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    Default Re: Target Fixation

    Bumping up a very old yet very relevant thread.

    How do the dynamics to target fixation change when riding at night.. can target fixation be used to advantage at night?
    (I know it is not the best to ride at night but this is done by most of us otherwise safe riders when no options exist)

    Here is my personal experience. Once when driving from Mumbai to Bangalore in the night where there was a slight drizzle my average speed of advance was restricted to about 50 kmph due to the need to keep clear of sudden obstructions. While I was thus proceeding I was overtaken by a Volvo bus moving at a considerable speed as is usually the case. I immediately picked up speed and maintained about 100-150 meters behind the bus in the dead centre. As I moved along I adjusted my distance to cater for the need for me to slow down at small speed breakers or rumblers that the bus was just cruising over. Once the obstruction was past I would accelerate and catch up. This allowed me to maintain an average speed of advance of 80-90 kmph for a considerable time and allowed be to reach my destination on time.

    Here let me say that by selectively fixating myself on the tail lights and reflective tape of the bus and trying to maintain safe distance from it at night actually helped my cause. Otherwise I am a very inexperienced night driver as I never venture out on our highways in the night.

    The speeding bus served to clear the road of all usual irritants such as animals, midnight pedestrians (or shall I call them Zombies), slow heavily laden trucks, the odd tractor and even the occasional two or three wheelers. Plus I also benefitted from the excellent knowledge of the driver of the road conditions. The best part was nobody dared to overtake the Volvo. I felt quite safe and completely alive during the ride and it remains the only, yet most rivetting night drive that I have done.

    Has anyone else experienced something similar...
    Vishal Wagh likes this.

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