Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Eyes in the Back of your Head

This morning's commute reminded me why it's important to constantly scan for dangers. I was taught the S.E.E acronym in my Motorcycle Safety Class; Scan, Evaluate, Execute. In other words, constantly be on the lookout for dangers or threats (to you or the bike or both), evaluate said dangers/threats and execute a (non)maneuver to keep you safe. Too many times, it seems, a motorcyclist is taken out by a threat from behind (it happened to my brother-in-law last year - his bike was totaled by some idiot). You're most vulnerable because you only have two (normally)  small mirrors with which to view things behind you. Don't forget to properly adjust those mirrors and to scan them as well. Fortunately I was paying attention, this morning, while the driver of an SUV, behind me, was not.

I was stopped at a traffic light of a major intersection (two lanes in each direction with a center [left] turn lane). I was in the right lane, third in line. There were more vehicles, behind me, than I could see or count. When the left turn arrow changed to yellow, several cars started moving forward in anticipation of the green light. However, the left turn lane on the opposite side of the light must have had more vehicles in it and stayed green longer. This meant that the red light, on my side of the intersection, stayed red. I glanced in my rear view mirrors, as vehicles started to move, to see the SUV behind me about to hit me. I rolled forward a few feet and spun my head around to look at the driver. That must of gotten their attention because they stopped abruptly, not more than a few inches from my rear wheel. When the light did turn to green, the SUV hung way back which, to me, admitted guilt in being distracted. Eventually, other vehicles filled in the lane behind me. A few miles later, I saw the SUV turn off, to the right, onto a side street. I have compiled a mental list of "idiot drivers/vehicles" and see them all, on occasion. Naturally, I give all of them a wide berth. Don't forget to observe things that happen behind you. Be Safe out there.

NOTE: I was wearing my Hi-Viz jacket. Don't assume that just because you have eye-searing colors on that someone is going to see you. Every vehicle is a potential threat, threat them that way.

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