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Safety Report

Greeting fellow Riders!

I hope everyone is enjoying all of the articles and pictures from Motorcycle Day at the Dome! It was so great to see so many clubs come out to represent. All SMROs were present. AMSAF BODs were also there to talk Motorcycle Safety. As your State Safety Officer, a Trauma Nurse and female rider, it was an honor to represent ABATE and distribute the new ABATE PSA to riders as well as legislators. I had several discussions about motorcycle safety awareness and the need to educate and not legislate.

It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky and just perfect riding weather. Riding down in rush hour traffic was a pain and I couldn’t help to notice all the road snakes on the 17. It made me think about how to avoid the many road obstacles we face on the road. Spring weather is unpredictable, so be aware of wet, slick roads. Even if the sun is shining, a spring shower might have just happened in the area in which you’re traveling. Roads are always slickest after a brief rain because dirt and oil to rise to the surface and haven’t had a chance to get washed away. Patches of melting snow and ice om the north can also make roads slick and hazardous, so keep an eye peeled, even in warmer spring weather. Standing water can also prove dangerous, so be alert for puddles that can cause you to hydroplane and lose control. Puddles can also hide potholes, which can be deep and dangerous for motorcycle riders.

The only way to drive safely on a motorcycle is to drive defensively. One of the biggest factors cited in motorcycle collisions are drivers who say they didn’t see the motorcycle. Make yourself and your motorcycle as visible as possible. Wear brightly colored clothing that makes you more noticeable.

Always use turn signals and check to be sure your intentions are noticed by other drivers before you change lanes or pull out in traffic. Use your horn if you think someone hasn’t seen you to alert them of your presence and your intentions. Don’t drive in the blind spots of other vehicles.

Always use turn signals and check to be sure your intentions are noticed by other drivers before you change lanes or pull out in traffic. Use your horn if you think someone hasn’t seen you to alert them of your presence and your intentions. Don’t drive in the blind spots of other vehicles.

Check your motorcycle out before taking it out. Yes, you are meticulous in caring for your motorcycle but if it has been sitting there through the winter, be sure to check: Tire pressures and weathering. Wheels for cracks or damage or if you have spokes make sure they are not loose or broken. Visualize all your controls including turn signals and low beams, and your gauges. All of your fluids, including break, clutch, coolant. Make sure your gas tank is filled. Steering & shocks to make sure steering is not grabbing and that the shocks didn’t freeze And don’t forget to look for any damage or rust on the frame and its components. What personal protective items do you have? And are they in good shape? Check to make sure all your gear is in good shape, including your helmet if you wear one- make sure it’s got adequate lining and straps, and a solid shield without cracks. Helmets make great nests for little critters to store their food in the winter and chew on your lining and straps. Gloves: Bring your gloves back to life by reconditioning with mink oil. Eye / Goggles: Do not forget your riding eye wear and that they are still usable and easy to see through without scratches. Boots: When left in the cold, boots will sometimes crack. Take a look and make sure you have boots that are ready to go.

Always ride defensively, but especially take your time on the first ride. Most cagers are not used to seeing a motorcycle on the road for the last few months. Be sure to make eye contact, sound your horn, be cautious and make sure you know that they know you’re there.

Practice a controlled emergency stop. If you feel a little wobbly on your first trip, stay in the neighborhood and on familiar ground. Test all your controls and practice stopping fast just to get comfortable with all possibilities. And of course, make sure you take it easy on curves and intersections.

When you’re out there, use the SIPDE process:
  • Scan ahead for possible problem
  • Identify what’s there.
  • Predict what might happen.
  • Decide on your course of action.
  • Execute your decision.

Of course this will all happen in thoughtspeed and it’s a part of staying aware and alert as you drive. SIPDE becomes second nature after a while so make sure you practice it on a regular basis. Examples of SIPDE includes behaviors such as looking out for vehicles turning left at intersections and making sure you have plenty of space behind you when turning left yourself, especially from a highway. Also remember to stay away from vehicle blind spots.

Until next time,

Ride Safe, Ride Smart, Ride Responsible and Ride Endorsed!

Teresa “Trauma Mama” McClelland
MSN RN
A.B.A.T.E of Arizona State Safety Officer

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