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We all know that riding with a narrow field of view or tunnel vision isn't very helpful but how do you go about maintaining a wider field of vision while riding? And why might a wider view be beneficial?
 

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American Legion Rider
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Is there such a thing as too wide a view? 360º view sounds good on the surface but can your mind compute the information in a time frame that's beneficial. Tunnel vision can be beneficial in certain cases. So where are we talking anyway. Track, street, trails?
 

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Tunnel vision can be beneficial in certain cases.
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Good point. An example would be in a tight U-turn with a 15' diameter. You better have tunnel vision as you turn your head to see where you want to be or you'll never trust the exact path you are going to take.

A busy intersection would be just the opposite.

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Back in the seventies the bright lights decided that football helmets did not have a wide enough opening for a wider view. On account of this they wanted to make footy helmets and motorcycle helmets, have more view as well. Problem was the temples became more exposed, and more serious injuries were bound to happen.
Someone, or two or more, suggested that helmet wearing folks could turn there heads, to better scan the surroundings. The head turners won the day.

The above involved the NFL, AMA, CMA and other sporting bodies.
When I say bright lights, also read big brother.

Unkle Krusty*
 

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Are we not talking about peripheral vision? From what I've read our central vision covers about 3 degrees of the visual field straight ahead of us. Peripheral, or our side vision covers the rest.

Straight ahead is the clear sharp images we normally see. Peripheral is not as sharp as central vision, but is more sensitive to light and motion which allows us to detect things happening off to the side, even when we're not looking in that direction.
 

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You're right. It's the peripheral vision that is our 'protector' in that it makes us aware of danger. The tunnel vision is our 'director' in that where it goes is where we head.

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We all know that riding with a narrow field of view or tunnel vision isn't very helpful but how do you go about maintaining a wider field of vision while riding? And why might a wider view be beneficial?
You're kidding, right?! :coffeescreen:

Turn your damn head!

Would help to have a helmet that gives you the widest field of view possible. That's why I moved from a full-face, to a half-shell.

-soupy
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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I move my eyes around a lot too. Left, right, ahead, down the road, left mirror, right mirror, bounce, bounce-bounce.
Mr. Eye boblehead dolls are on sale for the low price of $19.95 and 5.99 shipping. If you order now you can have a second one free for the cost of shipping and handling.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Is there such a thing as too wide a view? 360º view sounds good on the surface but can your mind compute the information in a time frame that's beneficial. Tunnel vision can be beneficial in certain cases. So where are we talking anyway. Track, street, trails?
I think you can have too wide a view for sure. Do you really need to see or know about everything that is going on around you?

Wide view is important in all areas of riding, track, street, trails- probably most applicable on the street when you need to be aware of so many more things that can be distracting. Cars, intersections, traffic lights, signs, bicycles, pedestrians etc...it's a matter of seeing enough of what is around you so that you aren't surprised by a car changing lanes or a pedestrian stepping off the curb but not so much that you lose focus on what you are doing.

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Good point. An example would be in a tight U-turn with a 15' diameter. You better have tunnel vision as you turn your head to see where you want to be or you'll never trust the exact path you are going to take.

A busy intersection would be just the opposite.

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I wonder if tunnel vision is the exact right word. I know what you mean. When you are doing a U-turn you want to look exactly where you want to go and focus on it so that your get there, but can you not do so while also maintaining a sense of what is going on in your peripheral vision? That's what I'm getting at here....

If you are doing a U-turn on a street for example you want to be focussed on where you are going (looking at that point) but also aware of what could potentially crop up around you.
 

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I think you can have too wide a view for sure. Do you really need to see or know about everything that is going on around you?

Wide view is important in all areas of riding, track, street, trails- probably most applicable on the street when you need to be aware of so many more things that can be distracting.
Modern day pilots are getting more information than we once would have ever thought possible. And heads-up displays about to hit the market for riders offers near 360º of information. Too much? Maybe. It depends on the person really. Whether a person recognizes it is another issue.

I have come to like my half helmet just because it does offer more information without turning my head. With turning I can nearly see behind me. Full and modular helmets have near tunnel vision by comparison.

So no, I honestly don't think you can get too much. You can filter what you don't need. I have helmet speakers with music, CB or GPS instruction all the time. In an emergency I shut off hearing anything legible and focus on task at hand. It's instantaneous. I don't knowingly do a thing. It just happens.

Same thing happens with sight. Some things get filtered and others come through almost enhanced(tunnel vision?). Our minds, hearing and sight are amazing organs. I wouldn't short their ability for anything.
 

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Practice, practice, practice Misti. I find that by using a straight ahead focus but riding up to a stop line that I can barely see in peripheral vision I develop the sense of how to detect exactly where that line is, without ever losing my primary focus.
As a hunting species we are well equipped to learn to detect movement way outside our normal focus in order to detect potential prey. Yes, I know it sounds funny but it is true. If I consciously walk in a straight line or stare straight ahead while trying hard to detect anything not in my main focal area I really won't miss much of things moving relative to me. We are hard wired to detect motion with ease.
All you need to do is learn to use the skills you were born with.
 

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I sometimes don't trust what I see on side mirrors so turning head does help a lot ensuring sides are clear.
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Side mirrors are not used for seeing sides, contrary to their name, they're for seeing to the rear.

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You only have to switch lanes once without looking if someone is in your blind spot to learn it isn't a good idea.
 

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You only have to switch lanes once without looking if someone is in your blind spot to learn it isn't a good idea.
Several newer cars have radar for blind spot detection.

Lights on the side mirrors light up when the system detects a vehicle in your blind spot.

So I've got my radar detector on, and it goes off as I approach such a vehicle. Naturally, I let off the gas.

Realizing it's a newer (Lincoln MKZ, I think) I remember it as possibly being on a list of vehicles that can now set off radar detectors.

So I move back up to overtake this vehicle and can directly correlate my radar detector going off with the warning lights on his mirrors illuminating. By the time I'm directly parallel with him both are quiet.

Of course, adding a radar emitter to millions of cars makes using one for police radar detection, if not hopeless, at least a lot more challenging. They go off all the time now, even the better ones, and constantly "interpreting" the radar detector's bleeping is required.

I'm sure law enforcement is highly pleased by this turn of events...

So how does WAZE play into all of this, for you die-hard speeders? The problem with WAZE is that there is no guarantee another WAZER has passed your way recently enough to report a radar trap.

I'm crossing I-40 once again (doing the speed limit, btw) and WAZE suggests the road is clear. Over a hill I come and the radar detector starts screeching, and there are two LEO's facing opposite ways parked in the median.

I'd say 90% of the time WAZE does, on interstates, correctly report the presence of LEO's looking to write tickets, but that 10%.....
 
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