How to improve peripheral vision

This section on how to improve peripheral vision is about the everyday exercise that a rider could do without motorcycle. It's about seeing without staring or fixating and gathering information that easy to overlook. This is most vital to every rider and it should not be thought of as physical skill but  awareness that could be strengthened.

What is peripheral vision

This is the part of vision that occurs outside you main focus. The centre of the focus will be anything between 10 to 20 degree but your vision does not end there. The boundaries of the far peripheral vision would be in the range of 100-110 degree each side i.e. a view of more than 180 degree without turning your head.

The science behind it

Just in recent years scientists started to recognise that the ability of peripheral vision is related our emotions, balance or movement control. It follows that someone whose peripheral filed is large will generally feel more comfortable and relaxed than someone  distressed. It is therefore vital for any rider (if not for everyone) to take few steps to improve it.


Good news is that it can be worked on to improve. You simply start with testing your peripheral vision and as you do you will continue to strengthen it.

  1. At home, siting comfortably, fixed your eyes on a target in front of you. Then try to gradually see what's above you without moving your eyes up. Then do the same for right and left and below. This will help you expand your peripheral field. This technique is used when following another rider. Look ahead of his/her bike, yet maintain their position in your peripheral vision. What you don’t want to be doing is staring at the bike in front of you.
  2. When walking outside, keep your head straight and look ahead but count features as they pass underfoot. This is important to riders as you monitor your current position as well as you keep looking ahead.
  3. Sit in a place outside your house, such as on a park bench. Stare straight ahead and don't move your eyes. Concentrate on everything you can see without moving your eyes. When you have finished, write a list of everything you saw. Then try again and see if you can expand that list.
  4. Stare into crowd and maintain a single focus in front of you. Then use your peripheral vision to detect and movement outside your focus. This is important in situations where you need to pay attention to many different possible problems as you ride in towns (e.g. riding bicyclist, pedestrians, traffic lights, a turning car) 
  5. When reading a magazine or a book, close it quickly, pop it open at any page and then close it immediately. Try to remember how much did you see. Keep doing it and try to expand the amount of information you gathered within this short times. This will become useful when scanning heavy traffic information, glancing in the mirror or checking over your shoulder. Try to capture the whole scene in the instant you view it. 

Those above drills on how to improve your peripheral vision are only examples of what the exercise should be about. In short time they will prove to be extremely useful in training your awareness in everyday life and on the road.

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