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Scanning or peripheral vision?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by twistngo, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. I was talking to a renowned motorcycle coach recently and he said when students were scanning the road he wanted them to be moving their heads not just using their eyes. I tend to use peripheral vision a lot so I don't move my head much. I was just wondering what others did and if there is a reason for preferring one or the other. This is not looking through a corner.

  2. A coach can't see them moving their eyes, but can see them moving their heads. I move my eyes when riding mostly, unless checking blind spots etc. I tend to move my head into corners though. Look where you want to go.
  3. I turn my head to scowl......I turn my eyes to scan...

    Although in a training perspective I think Middo hit the nail on the head. (pardon the pun)
  4. I move my head around. The main reason it to keep things loose and augment peripheral vision, Plus I'm usually rocking away to heavy metal so moving the head just happens :)
  5. I scan by moving my eyes and using peripheral vision. But if I want to LOOK I turn my head.
  6. If you only move your eyes and you wear a standard helmet, by definition you CLOSE OFF the peripheral vision in the direction you look. You cannot do otherwise. The edge of the helmet's visor opening shadows the peripheral vision in that direction.

    So turn your head / point your nose in the direction you want to look and scan your eyes over the area you need to look. Your peripheral vision will be maintained.

    Another reason to move your head is that it reminds your body to relax and reduce one's stiffness.
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  7. The coach needs to see the heads moving so he knows they are observing.
    He can't necessarily tell, if they are just using their eyes.
    It saves any discrepancies at the end of the day
  8. Normal scanning using my eyes.........checking for blind spots turn my head.

    Turning the head for normal scanning IMO is not a very good habit to do and IMO instructors shouldnt be teaching it for normal scanning.........
  9. I'll take that info as a freebie :D

  10. That's a very interesting point.

    I think it is worth mentioning that some of the helmets (such as Shark Vision R) help in that regard.
    The visor area is really wide and I (almost) never see the edges with my peripheral vision.

    If the helment wouldn't be an issues, does it still make sense to turn the head?
  11. Ah, what a fascinating topic.

    Peripheral vision is absolutely brilliant.

    Most humans have it, other than those with fairly rare visual impairment.

    But, a surprisingly few people actually understand it and use it effectively.

    First, it's limitations.

    Being aware of something, from peripheral vision, isn't exact.... you know something is moving or changing, but to evaluate what is going on, you actually have to turn your head and look, as in focus on where you are looking.

    Peripheral vision is "switchable", as in when you LOOK at something, focus on it and try and work out details, peripheral vision tends to be switched off.

    People have to work out their own method of "switching" it on again.
    For me, this is consciously opening my eyes wider. YMMV.

    Finally, you have to be aware of having the capability, which a number of folk aren't.

    Those of you who have recently done pre-learner courses, depending on the instructor, may have done the "walk towards the instructor, looking him/her straight in the eye and stop, just your side of a painted line" to convince you that you don't have to actually look down to be aware of something on the ground.

    OK, it's good points are:-

    You can be aware of stuff on the road without actually dipping your head to LOOK at whatever.

    You can cruise up a road, with your wide vision switched on, and be aware of sudden changes in either mirror at the same time....... you'll probably have to LOOK at the appropriate mirror to find out the details, but you'll be aware of something changing.... e.g. blue and red flashing lights. :)

    In suburbia, it helps you to pick the unusual..... the vehicle running much faster than everyone else, that suddenly is close behind or beside you, and you can then LOOK carefully to figure out where exactly it is going.

    It isn't a substitute for frequent head checks, but it can fill in the gaps and help you be a safer rider.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. #12 robsalvv, Jan 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
    Well, out with it coach cruiser. How can turning ones head to scan a busy intersection be a bad habit?

    The wider the visor area, the less peripheral vision cut off - that's true. I bought a Shark evoline recently and the extra peripheral vision was a revelation - especially with the flip face up. But it's just a matter of degrees. If your helmet is better, then your need to turn your head might not be as strong, but human physiology still requires you to turn your head for maximised peripheral vision.

    Try this: Look ahead and now swivel just your eyes to look at a point to your far right. Now while looking at that point, take note of what you can see in your right peripheral vision. Now turn your head to look directly at that point and NOW notice what you can see in your peripheral vision - the peripheral vision will be clearer and there should be more of it.

    To me this is a no brainer. Turn your head.
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  13. Peripheral vision is stronger in the horizontal plane than the vertical. Probably some prehistoric ignorance of what is going on above us.

    Are we talking about scanning at intersections, or just on the open road. Different situations require different actions in my view.

  14. +1 very interesting, I might need to change my thinking......

    Vision is one of the good things I love about my Shark RSI...........and one of my pet peeved on my Icon Airframe.
  15. Peripheral vision like everything else needs to be trained, brought up to speed and trusted.
    Making you turn your head also lets us see what you do, when you do. A lot track right or left pending where they look. Not good. And some just look too late so all they see is a blur.
  16. For things behind me I tend to look at the mirrors and keep count/track of cars around.......I scan for things ahead..........but do turn my head for blind spots and things obscured by other objects.

    It would be interesting how people and objects people look at when riding.....
  17. Well, when monkeys, with delusions of grandeur, started wandering about on the savannah, they were not threatened (well, too much) by birds, but those pesky carnivores sneaking up to the side....... they were a threat.
  18. Look at or actually see and take notice of. I know I look at lots of things, but I only take notice of those things that I perceive as a threat or those things that I think will help me against a threat.

  19. Not quite sure how to answer this.....i do know what you mean though but ive never really thought of it that way.

  20. I heard that zombies dont look up normally :).......