January 2005 Safety Thoughts

 Risk Management Revisited 

By Dave Hansen 


This month, Iíd like to revisit a previous subject; Risk Management.

Risk management is defined as - The practice of planning for and reducing risk.  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.  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. Iíve previously discussed Personal Protection Equipment or PPE that can help reduce or manage risk. PPE items would include (but is not limited to): 

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 youíll be taking a good first step toward managing your riding risks.

The (infamous) Hurt Report from the early 80ís identifies motorcycling maneuvers contributing to crashes include: 

How can we influence or manage these contributing risk factors? Through practice & training. Both can be garnered from attending an Experienced Rider or Performance Based MSF class. Thatís why our Chapter sponsors one of these classes each year. 

When group riding, there are additional factors that we can influence or change to help reduce or manage risk. These include riding formations, spacing, and group communications skills. Weíve addressed these issues in our Group Riding Techniques manual. The time-proven methodologies described in this manual are designed to offer a common & consistent basis for our group rides. I have included within it, my own input & group riding experience garnered from 1964 forward. It also includes the very valuable input of some of our most capable & skilled Road Captains from the early & mid-1990ís. Most of these Road Captains have long ago retired, but their knowledge stays with us if we read this manual. 

Please, be pro-active in your own riding risk management. Read or re-read this manual. Reflect upon itsí content. Commit it to memory. And use the knowledge provided whenever you ride in a group. 

Ride Safe!

Words of Safety