RIDING TIP: BEFORE It All Goes Wrong
BEFORE IT ALL GOES WRONG
Thanks to the rise in riders making videos of their everyday adventures, we recently had a unique opportunity to view the reactions of two different motorcyclists to one hazardous situation. While our aim is not to denigrate any motorcyclist and hope you join us in avoiding negative character attacks of either rider, we think honest critique of these videos is so valuable in helping all motorcyclists become better at spotting and avoiding hazards. In alignment with our mission to create better trained, better educated riders, we are compelled to share these videos.
It is important for the motorcycling community to be able to critically think about various scenarios and have sincere conversations no matter how unpleasant. Learning from the experience of others can help us avoid our very own pain-reinforced learning sessions.
THE HAZARDOUS SITUATION
The scenario is this:
- Motorcyclist traveling at night Westbound on San Tan Freeway to I-10 is confronted with a pickup truck that has rammed into the barrier and is now stopped across a lane of traffic.
We talk a lot in our courses about how risk factors tend to pile up to create highly risky situations. This scenario is a prime example of how multiple factors can lead to harm. The risk factors include:
- At night so visibility is decreased
- Freeway speeds means riders are traveling almost 100 feet per second
- The ramp is curved
- Colder temperatures means less available traction
- Colder rider could be distracted, less capable of reaction
- Can you think of any additional factors?
A TALE OF TWO RIDERS
TWO VERY DIFFERENT RESULTS
As you can tell from the videos two riders were presented with a hazardous situation and their reactions created two very different results. What can we learn from these two videos? What are your thoughts about how each of these riders approached the hazard? What worked? What didn’t?
Bill Seltzer has been a Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach since 2003 and a Total Control Advanced Riding Instructor since 2011. He currently serves as the Marketing Director for TEAM Arizona and is a member of the Arizona Strategic Highway Safety Planning committee. Have questions or comments about the article? Email him: [email protected]