Your position on the road (buffering)

Road conditions are always changing, from traffic and road surfaces to the weather and visibility levels. Riding a motorcycle or scooter, you’re smaller than other vehicles on the road, which means you can use your positioning on the road to give yourself an appropriate ‘buffer’ from road hazards.

‘Buffering’ is essentially building space between you and other road users to make sure you’re riding in a safe position on the road. It helps keep you away from possible hazards on the road, and means you’re more visible to other road users. 

Here’s how you can maintain a buffer in common situations…

  • If you’re riding on bumpy, poor, or unpredictable road surfaces, slow down
  • If you’re going around a corner or can’t see what’s up ahead, slow down
  • If you’re approaching an intersection, slow down and create space between you and other vehicles.
  • If you’re on a small road or country lane, stay to the right side of your lane to provide space for wildlife next to the road and to improve vision. Remember you may need to change this position for oncoming traffic, hills and bends in the road, so always stay alert.
  • If a vehicle is following close behind you, it can be better to move into the middle of the lane to increase visibility.
  • If there are vehicles in front of you, build space between yourself and them to make it easier for others to see you and for you to see around them. 
  • If you’re approaching a blind crest of a hill, slow down and look for clues as to where the road will lead. 

You can read more about buffering in the South Australian Government’s Rider Handbook.

Information in this article was adapted from the South Australian Government’s Department for Infrastructure and Transport website