by Dave Hansen, Safety Officer
Since we're lacking any really decent riding weather locally, I thought this would be a good time to consider items that can help keep us mentally prepared for riding. Risk management is a topic that merits considerable mental forethought and preparation, and can benefit from attention during the off season as well as the riding season.
Risk management is defined as - The practice of planning for and reducing risk.
Before we can plan for risk, we need to identify some of those risks we are exposed to and then further define those risks we can substantively manage or control.
Personal Protection Equipment or PPE can help reduce or manage risk. PPE items would include (but is not limited to):
- eye protection
- sturdy shoes or boots that include ankle protection
- sturdy long pants
- sturdy leather jacket
- sturdy leather gloves
- properly fitted helmet
Note the term sturdy. Not all leather products are equal and some lighter grades of leather wear are designed for fashion, not protection. Be sure your riding gear is up to the task of offering you good protection and you'll be taking a good first step toward managing your riding risks.
We also know that alcohol is involved in a very significant number of motorcycle accidents, particularly single vehicle accidents.
While it is each individual rider's responsibility, our Chapter has a zero-tolerance policy regarding drinking & group riding.
We don't want you drinking during a Chapter Ride.
If you're planning to attend a Chapter Ride, don't show up for the ride after stopping first at the local watering hole for a "pick-me-up".
The (infamous) Hurt Report from the early 80's identifies motorcycling maneuvers contributing to crashes include:
How can we influence or manage these contributing risk factors? A very positive influence that comes to mind is to sign up for and attend a Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider training course. As a Chapter, we will again be planning to fill a 48 person Experienced Rider Course this spring. Look for sign-up/registration information next month.
While logistics limits the Chapter's involvement to a single class, additional classes will be available for individual scheduling. Watch for the 2001 Michigan MSF class schedule to be available near the end of January or beginning of February.
Words of Safety