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Motorcycle Safety Tips

"You Need to Ride Smart Until Dumb Auto Drivers Get Smart."

Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers Says: Learn How Dumb Auto Drivers Cause Motorcycle Accidents - Get Into Their Empty Brains - Anticipate Auto Driver Stupidity - Separate the Hazards Ignorant Auto Drivers Create - Learn the Strategies for Avoiding Dangerous Auto Driver Idiocy On the Road.

1. Help Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers Cure Auto Driver Ignorance of Motorcycle Safety Issues and the Motorcycle Accident Avoidance Strategies Which They Must Adopt to Insure The Safety of Their Two Wheeled Friends.

First, recognize that riding a bike will never be as safe as riding a car until auto drivers are forced to become educated on motorcycle safety issues and the motorcycle accident avoidance strategies which they must adopt in order to prevent serious injury to their two wheeled friends. Help Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers cure Auto Driver Ignorance. Educate Your Governor. Demand that auto drivers get mandatory education on motorcycle safety issues and motorcycle accident avoidance strategies as a part of their drivers education. Demand that auto drivers pass examinations which liberally include questions on motorcycle safety and motorcycle accident avoidance strategies. Demand that auto drivers be denied drivers licenses unless they can first demonstrate competent knowledge of motorcycle safety issues by answering all motorcycle safety and motorcycle accident questions correctly on their drivers licence examinations.

You Are Going to Have to Ride Smart Until Auto Drivers Get Smart.

There is a base of motorcycle accident statistics that provide important insight into the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. The vast majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by auto driver stupidity. It is important that motorcyclists appreciate the most common accident scenarios so that we can anticipate them, and to the extent possible, minimize our risk, until auto drivers get smart - meaning until they get the appropriate driver education with respect to motorcycle safety issues and motorcycle accident avoidance strategies.

The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents - Auto Driver Ignorance.

Statistically the most common cause of auto accidents is auto drivers pulling out from side streets into our paths and turning left in front of us at intersections. Auto drivers often claim "I didn't see him." Some have interpreted this as a problem with "motorcycle visibility." Motorcycle visibility is not the cause of these accidents. The cause of the accidents is that auto drivers don't look for motorcyclists. Sure, they know that the streets are not populated solely by cars, trucks and busses. But they don't open their eyes, squint, or whatever they have to do, to look for oncoming motorcyclists in order to insure our safety. Why? There is some speculation on the point. One body of speculation is that auto drivers just don't give a damn, meaning that motorcyclists don't pose a danger to them, so they don't look out for motorcyclists as they would for an oncoming car or bus. Sure bikers are smaller than autos, but that is not an excuse. Perhaps another reason they don't look out for us is that they don't realize the enormous danger they pose to bikers and hence what they should see as their enhanced responsibility to use special care to make sure they recognize the oncoming bike and avoid placing the motorcyclist in danger. Whatever the species of auto driver ignorance, you must recognize that auto drivers will pull out in front of you from side streets, and will turn left in front of you, and so you must not assume that they will respect your right of way. Auto drivers are also ignorant of the fact that their rear view mirrors have holes in them large enough to obscure a motorcyclist riding or passing in an adjoining lane. They are ignorant of the fact that they need to turn their dumb heads to look before changing lanes if they want to avoid causing motorcyclist injury or death. Auto drivers don't realize that motorcycles generally can stop more quickly than cars, so they tend to fail to allow an adequate number of "car lengths" in front of them to avoid hitting a biker who must make an emergency stop (usually to avoid the idiotic antics of another ignorant auto driver.) Until auto drivers get smart - that is until they are forced to become educated on motorcycle safety issues and motorcycle accident avoidance strategies, Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers provides what it considers to be some good strategies for avoiding the stupid moves of ignorant auto drivers. The motorcycle riding tips are NOT meant as a substitute for a state qualified Motorcycle Training Course. Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers strongly recommends that every motorcycle rider, no matter how experienced, obtain a state approved motorcycle training course. Nothing we can write or say can substitute for it.

(1) Use your eyes constantly. Until Auto Drivers Learn That They Need to Open Their Eyes, Bikers Are Going to Have to Open Their Eyes More Widely and Actively Scan and Anticipate Auto Driver Stupidity.

You must actively scan for the potential hazards when you ride. The most critical area for you to scan is the distance it will take your bike to travel in 14 seconds, with the immediate 4 seconds of travel distance being the zone of greatest danger likely to require immediate response. Keep you eyes active, moving around this danger zone, looking for potential hazards. Of particular importance to avoid the most common cause of motorcycle accidents, look carefully for cars approaching intersections from all directions, and do NOT expect that ignorant auto drivers will respect your right of way. Assume that they will not "see" you. Be particularly wary of cars stopped at intersections at side streets who may pull out into your path and be equally wary of cars approaching from the opposite direction which may turn left in front of you. Stay aware of the cars in your adjoining lanes. Move quickly through their rear view mirror blind spots when you pass by them. Look out for cars parked on the side of the street, keeping alert for a turn indicator light or break or reverse light, and occupants in the driver’s seat. Auto drivers parked along the side of the road may decide to pull out into your lane of traffic relying on their rear view mirrors, without turning their heads to look for an oncoming motorcyclist. Also scan for road defects, pot holes, gravel, oil, and consider pedestrians and animals which might run out into your path.

(2) Separate your hazards. If you see more than one potential hazard, separate them so that you will only have to deal with one at a time.

As you scan the distance you will travel over the next 14 seconds, you will probably recognize a number of potential hazards. You can maximize your ability to employ your accident avoidance strategies, maximize your escape routes, maximize your ability to "swerve," those two rapid fire counter-steers that sometimes will save our lives, if you can deal with the idiotic driving antics of one ignorant auto driver instead of two. For example, on a freeway, if you are in the right-most lane and you see that there is a car approaching from behind you in the lane to your immediate left and another car entering by the freeway ramp to your right, slow down or speed up in anticipation that one or the other or both of these predictably "dumb" auto drivers may do something predictably stupid. If you can deal with the stupidity of the driver entering on your right without simultaneously dealing with the auto driver on your left, you will have a greater chance of avoiding an accident.

(3) Provide Ample Space Between Your Bike and The Auto Driver Ahead of You, Keeping In Mind That the Auto Driver Behind You Will Not Be Able to Stop As Quickly As You In An Emergency.

It is "common knowledge" that motorcyclists and auto drivers must "leave sufficient car lengths" between them and the vehicle in front to permit sufficient time to brake or stop without hitting the vehicle in front. The problem is that both auto drivers and motorcyclists fail to gauge the appropriate distance. For auto drivers, the problem is that they are ignorant of the fact that motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars in an emergency. For motorcyclists, it is not just a matter of figuring the distance it will take you to brake or stop of the auto driver in front of you slams on his brakes. You have to consider also that the auto driver behind you, because he is ignorant that you can stop more quickly, has left insufficient space if you brake. Therefore, you must leave sufficient car lengths between your bike and the car in front of you to slow at the speed it will take the car behind you to brake if you don't want to your bike and body pinned between the unforgiving metal of these two cars.

(3) Choose Your Position In Your Lane of Traffic to Minimize the Risks Posed by Dumb Auto Drivers

"Position in your lane" can be thought of as left, middle and right. Let's be clear: Left is where a cars left tires would ride, middle is where cars spill their oil, and right is where the car's right tires ride. There is no "correct" location in a lane that is always best. To the extent that you have a preference, lose it. Your choice of lane position should always be dictated only by your analysis of the immediate road hazards, your predictions about the relative immediate dangers auto driver stupidity, and analysis of your opportunity for accident avoidance strategies. Please consider when choosing your position in your lane: (a) providing the best and greatest number of escape routes; (b) increasing your visibility to the cars you are approaching at intersection, in your adjoining lanes and parked along the side of the road, (c) avoiding auto driver rear view mirror blind spots, moving to the opposite side of the lane and moving quickly through the blind spots; (d) communicating your driving intentions, placing yourself so that auto drivers can see your turn indicator lights, and your arm signaling your turn or lane change; (e) increasing your ability to observe potential hazards; (f) avoiding road defects/surface hazards; and (g) "protecting your lane" from other motorists.

(4) Ride within your limits and the limits of your bike.

A stretched and radically raked Harley chopper is going to have more limited ability than a sport bike for accident avoidance, such as swerving, at any given speed. So you need to consider the limits of your bike. You need to know your bike. And if you've just purchased a new bike or are riding a friends bike, cool it for a while until you get to know the bike. Each biker also has his own limits. Yeah, guys - each of us has our limits. You may have been riding for 20 years and may have attended half a dozen racing classes. You still have your limits. Our limits are a function of our individual reaction times, our level of experience riding, our level of experience riding the particular bike we are riding at the time, and dozens of other factors. All of us can ride with roughly equal “relative safety,” recognizing that we all face the same hazards, including those posed by dumb drivers, if we ride within our limits and the limits of our bikes. Riding "within" our limits means not pressing up against our limits. If you figure you can take a turn at 50 mph, take it at 40. It is only a small percentage of motorcycle accidents which are caused by our own negligence, but lets eliminate motorcyclist stupidity so that we can focus on auto driver stupidity.

Ride Safely, friends. You've chosen to live life like an eagle in flight rather than a caged in bird. But now you don't have a cage. So Ride smart until the bird brains get smart.

Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers


Motorcycle Safety Tips