Protecting Your Motorcycle Ass

Posted on 26th March 2010 by Electra Glide In Blue in Motorcycle Safety - Tags:

After reading all the news reports out of Phoenix, about the eight motorcycles being rear-ended while setting at a stoplight Thursday afternoon you just have to wonder, what the hell happened there?

Obviously the driver of the dump truck is a fault here. What the hell was the distraction?

In a split second three were killed, a fourth one passed away Friday night. Four others were seriously or critically injured, and one was treated and released from the hospital.

If they all would have been packed in a cage, the end result would probably been close to the same. My thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by this tragic accident.

The investigation into the crash may take some time. I’m still shaking my head on this one. When I’m sitting at a light I try to protect my ass as much as I’m watching what’s happening in front of me.

There have been quite a few comments on some motorcycle forums today about this so I thought I’d list some motorcycle safety recommendations for protecting your ass and trying to stay alive on a motorcycle.

1) Increase your following distance. By allowing more time for you to stop, you decrease the likelihood that you will surprise the person behind you. The person behind you will definitely be surprised if you have to stop quickly, but if you can stop smoothly and gradually, then you force them to do the same.

2) Communicate your intentions. While it’s not really an option in an emergency stop situation, in everyday traffic, you can tap your brakes a couple of times to flash your brake light. People behind you are MUCH more likely to notice a flashing light than a static one. You my what to consider a brake light modulator.

3) Always have a line of escape by constantly scanning the areas all around you.

4) Be ready to swerve instead of stop. If you recognize that a rear-end impact is imminent and you have the time and wherewithal to deal with it, swerve between lanes of traffic and let them hit the car in front of you instead.

5) Don’t obsess about the person behind you. If you’re busy thinking about what’s behind you, then you’re less likely to notice what’s in front of you.

6) Never take the traffic around you for granted. Anticipate driver error.

Ride safe and watch your ass.

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7 Comments »

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alltop, Business Coaching. Business Coaching said: Protecting Your Motorcycle Ass http://bit.ly/aktGEW [...]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Protecting Your Motorcycle Ass | Electra Glide In Blue -- Topsy.com — March 27, 2010 @ 1:50 am

  2. good reminders!

    Comment by charlie6 redlegsrides.blogspot.com — March 27, 2010 @ 3:51 am

  3. Meaning when stopped always stay in first gear ready to take off and not in neutral as I have known many do…
    Nice post, tragic accident.
    Ara & Spirit

    Comment by ara & spirit theoasisofmysoul.com — March 27, 2010 @ 10:12 pm

  4. Remember when we were taught by our elders to stand at a red light in neutral? This was in the days when clutch cables broke…often. Now they don’t as much, and Ara’s observation regarding standing in 1st gear is right on. So now with this much said…DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE YOURSELF ENOUGH ROOM AHEAD OF YOUR STOPPED SCOOT….TO MAKE THE EMERGENCY EXIT IF CALLED FOR.

    I was riding with a group yesterday…and I was reminded of the AZ. accident too many times to count with the thoughtless actions of the motorcycles around me. I ended up at the rear of the pack (by design) then finally leaving the pack all together and riding ahead and beyond…safety 1st. I prefer to ride alone anyway. Thanks for the timely reminders…for many of us…scooter season is just opening….

    Comment by Chessie chessiestales.blogspot.com — March 28, 2010 @ 5:20 am

  5. Dear EGIB (Jeff):

    I am one of the worst offenders here. I generally watch to make sure the driver behind me has noticed that I am coming to a stop, but seldom look beyond him. And I almost always sit in neutral because I’m dealing with my gimpy legs. Yet the incidence of getting hit from behind is almost certain to rise as another generation of drivers is presented with more in the way of non-driving related distractions.

    I wonder how much time the truck driver saved by looking for papers (cited as the cause of the crash). This will be no consolation to the friends and families of the deceased riders.

    Fondest regards.
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

    Comment by Jack Riepe jackriepe.blogspot.com — March 29, 2010 @ 7:18 am

  6. What a tragedy. Seeing those pictures is heart-breaking.

    I was teaching an Experienced Riders Course yesterday, and always, I drive this point home. I was rear-ended in Longmont in ‘08, and was very fortunate to only require wrist surgery and $8K of damage to my bike. I wasn’t practicing what I preach, but now I do 100% of the time.

    On the rebuild, I installed an LED brake light and the rear turn signals are now running lights and they serve as additional brake lights. I’ve been told it’s very visible. Also, despite the fact that lots of people say that loud pipes don’t save lives, I’ve woken up a day-dreaming cage driver coming up fast by revving the engine.

    Thanks Jeff

    Comment by Abby bikerchickbook.com — March 29, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

  7. Agree with every f’in one of these. #4 is the one most people don’t even think about. They grab a shitload of brake handle, tense up the ass cheecks, close their eyes and hope for the best when they could have easily gone around or between.

    Great reminder.

    Comment by FLHX_Dave roadgritscafe.blogspot.com — March 30, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

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