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Thread: Giving a safety class

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Apr 2018
    Bunnlevel, NC

    Giving a safety class

    I've been asked to give a motorcycle safety class to a group of Soldiers, as part of our quarterly safety day. Since the only person in the audience who rides a bike is me, I thought I would focus on safety from the standpoint of a cage driver. I'm looking for ideas and information to relay to a group that ranges from 18 to 30 for the most part. I have some ideas, such as how much area of vision is obstructed by the A-pillar, looking carefully before turning left, following distance, etc. I have some of my own experiences, such as the lady who tried to kill me today, but I obviously haven't experienced everything out there.

  2. #2
    Registered User WWeldin's Avatar
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    May 2018
    Lilburn, GA
    These might give you some good fodder.


    This was modern training given to me, but old school folks call it defensive driving, the big picture, and such as the like. I am a Million Miler with my last company, which was based out of Atlanta traffic. Yes, you read that right.

    Also you may add "take the path of least resistance"

    Another point is telling them when they are in a hurry and try to rush, that is when the fit hits the shan. Take your time and be patient. Trust me, it works.

    I just wish I can remember that when I ride my RT. It is hard to take my time, but I do speed safely, as the saying goes.
    2000 R1200C, 2019 R1250RT

  3. #3
    Registered User wbrownell9's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    New Castle, DE
    Young people in general, and soldiers in particular, are probably suffering from testosterone poisoning, even the women. They're indestructible and immortal. If they didn't believe that in their subconscious, they wouldn't have enlisted.

    Be predictable. You're not alone out there.

    People in cars expect all traffic to be moving at more or less the same speed. They make decisions based on that. If they're looking for a hole to pull out into and traffic is moving at 50, the space they think is big enough is WAY too small if you're going 80. Hell, it's probably too small even if you're going 50, because you're little and by the time they see you, you're a lot closer than they think you are.

    Make sure your blinker fluid is topped up. Give them time to see and react to the blinker (my mom was great for blinking one time when she was 2/3 of the way into the new lane. Or well after she was clearly committed to a turn). Because the turn signals are often small and close to the centerline of the bike (i.e. hard to see), it's sometimes helpful to supplement them with hand signals. Turn them off when you're done.

    Loud pipes do not save lives. The noise goes out the back. Almost all of the danger is in front. They do piss people off, though.
    2016 R1200 GSA

  4. #4
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    Apr 2018
    Bunnlevel, NC
    That's good for motorcyclists, but I need stuff for car drivers. Around here, I think turn signals are optional equipment.

  5. #5
    Registered User rogerc60's Avatar
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    Oct 2018
    Akron, OH
    This video has been bouncing around on the forums for a while. Maybe there's some good info in there for you.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2012
    Lansing, Kansas
    Quote Originally Posted by ARMYMUTT View Post
    That's good for motorcyclists, but I need stuff for car drivers. Around here, I think turn signals are optional equipment.
    Some things I believe cage drivers need to understand:

    - bikes are so small that they appear further away than they are. Therefore a motorcycle seems to close the distance very quickly. Car drivers usually misjudge the distance and the closing speed.
    - car drivers believe motorcycles can stop on a dime. Not true. The tire patch on both motorcycle tires is only about the same as one of the car's tires. A motorcycle will slam into a car quickly, even if everyone is paying attention.
    - the pilot on the motorcycle is likely the dad or granddad of someone just like the car driver. Two-wheelers are not extras in a Hell's Angels movie. They are mostly nice folks and are not looking to do wheelies or split lanes at 90+. YouTubers are rare stupid freaks.
    - when a motorcycle flashes his lights at you it usually means "see me". It is not a challenge to your manhood, nor is it telling you it is safe to turn in front of the bike.

    Good luck with your class. I hope you do well and maybe save a few lives.
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  7. #7
    Rider vfroger's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Knoxville, TN
    The MSF has several modules available to anyone. One of them is "motorist Awareness" available here:
    2018 R1200GSA
    1992 R100GS
    1975 R90/6

  8. #8
    Registered User powwow's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Bend, OR
    One thought that I wish all cagers would follow is to give motorcycles their space. It's quite common for cagers to crowd each other on the road, i.e. follow too closely, cut in front, etc. With vehicles, this can result in accidents which generally means dented sheet metal and a call to the insurance company. When they crowd motorcycles and something happens, it usually means severe injury or death to the motorcyclist. While it's good advice for all driving situations, when it comes to motorcycles, it's especially important to give them space!
    Larry Gregerson; Bend, OR
    MOA #93031

  9. #9
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Southern Tier of New York
    Most times a motorcycle collides with another vehicle, it is that other vehicle driver's fault, something like two thirds of the time. Car drivers need to know and appreciate that.

    When I was working, the organization put on mandatory driver improvement classes on a three-year schedule. I noticed that nothing was mentioned about motorcycle safety. I volunteered to do a motorcycle awareness module and had a power point presentation to keep me on track. The content was based on the various motorcycle accident studies, including the Hurt Report and the MAIDS (Motorcycle Accident In Depth Study) Report from Europe. The main points were that motorcycles were often not perceived by car drivers, resulting in accidents. You don't see with just your eyes, your brain has to process the photons to perceive the presence of the motorcyclist. Another main point was that blocked vision was often present in accidents - drivers could not see the motorcyclist because their vision was blocked, but proceeded anyway, resulting in collisions. So on a bike, you don't just look for hazardous vehicles, you must also look for hazardous situations, namely where others' vision is blocked by vehicles or other objects.

    It was fun for me and the classes were receptive and hopefully learned something.

    There were always at least a couple of motorcyclists in the room. I was shocked that most had never heard of counter-steering, so I was able to convey some knowledge along those lines.
    Last edited by AKsuited; 04-24-2019 at 01:17 PM.
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  10. #10
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Rochester, MN
    This is also a great video: has some great stats. about how much less congestion we'd have if more people rode motorcycles.
    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT, 2013 F800GS
    Former: 1995 BMW K75S, 2009 BMW G650GS
    MOA Member #:150400, IBA#: 37558

  11. #11
    Here is one I wouldn't have thought of until I started riding. Only tangentially related to safety.

    Tell them that not all stop light sensors detect all bikes. So when waiting at a light where a motorcycle is in the front position, it is not a bad idea to get a bit closer to them than you would normally do so that the light sensor will pick up your vehicle if not the motorcycle.

    Many times I am waiting at a light that doesn't seem to pick me up, and a car seems afraid to get close enough to me to trigger it. Cue me trying to signal with my head that they should pull up closer and them probably thinking I am having a seizure or something.

    One other one I would mention is that bikes are to some extent harder to control at slow speeds than they are at normal speeds. This means be very careful of pulling out in front of a motorcycle in a parking lot especially. When I first started out riding, this was the thing that made me come closer to drop a bike than anything. Most drivers seem to think that it is like riding a bike and stopping and starting in tight spaces is quicker and easier than it actually is.

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