Spring is an exciting time for bikers, who are itching to get back on two wheels again after being stuck inside all winter. However, the start of riding season is accompanied by a number of serious hazards. In addition to dealing with wet weather and increased animal activity, your path is probably littered with potholes, uneven pavement and debris from a combination of winter damage and spring road construction.
Don’t let an accident or injury sideline you this early in the season. Learn about a simple method you can use to help you avoid these common dangers on the road.
Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s S.E.E. Strategy
Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s S.E.E. Strategy is a valuable defensive-driving tool for any motorist. The three-step process was developed to help bikers identify and respond to potential hazards. When applied correctly, contributing factors are reduced and the outcome of a potentially dangerous situation is often improved.
Memorize the following acronym and apply the steps any time you are faced with an obstacle on the road.
S – SEARCH
Always be on the lookout for potential hazards. These could include anything from potholes and construction debris to sharp turns and distracted drivers. Frequently check your mirrors and blind spots to be sure you have an accurate mental picture of your surroundings. Successfully carrying out this step will give you more space and time to respond to an obstacle in the later phases.
E – EVALUATE
As soon as you realize you will be faced with an obstacle, evaluate your options. Take into account your speed, road conditions, positioning of nearby vehicles and any other factors that could have an impact on the outcome of your situation. Once you have identified your possible responses, quickly determine the safest plan of action.
E – EXECUTE
When approaching most obstacles, your first step will be to slow down. Hold your bike steady and break firmly, not sharply, as you near the hazard. Avoid suddenly swerving out of your lane to dodge an obstacle. Chances are a collision with another vehicle will do more damage than the pothole or debris. If time and space allow, check your mirrors and blind spots and carefully switch lanes.
Report potholes and road hazards:
Contact your state’s Department of Transportation or the related agency in your city, county or township to report dangerous road conditions.