Proactive Collision Avoidance

After a successful daily commute … waits for the next adventure!

You notice it too, don’t you?

That car or truck in your rear view mirror that is obviously approaching too fast–so you watch closely. Before you know it, they are on your butt. After you move over in a collision-avoidance attempt, they pull up beside you–then slow and match your speed–and they stay there.

Why, then did they need to come up so fast behind you?

These are times for proactive collision avoidance!

Some folks who don’t ride motorcycles may not fully comprehend how dangerous we perceive the above situation–and they don’t always understand our reactions. Motorcyclists are adept at rear-view-mirror physics and recognizing potential accidents–we can tell when cars are coming up too fast behind us and we notice when suddenly the traffic pattern shifts. So what do we do? We don’t sit passively–or at least we shouldn’t–waiting to be rear-ended or side-swiped, so we do something proactive. Sometimes we slow down and move over while other times we accelerate. I think when we do the latter, non-motorcyclists think we’re trying to beat them in some suddenly unannounced race. You know the situation.

You find yourself in the middle of heavy traffic and recognize a potential problem–the car up there–no over there–that just braked for no apparent reason. You’ve seen this before–the chain reaction occurs, two, then three, then 20 cars brake and super congestion occurs–then suddenly the person in the lane directly to your right (you are in the HOV lane, right?) realizes traffic is stopping and then do what we expect–Yep! They swerve left right into your lane–zoinks!

It is precisely this type of situation that calls for proactive collision avoidance–one might call it accelerating to save one’s life. Rather than slowing down to wait for the impending accident–and being behind it, I choose to twist the throttle and get the heck out of there. I’d sure rather be in front of a multiple-car pile-up then behind it. I often notice that cars in that same right lane will stomp on on their gas as I’m trying to accelerate–I think they think I’m racing them–on the contrary my fellow highway traveler–I’m merely trying to make it home to kiss my wife and grandkids! So I accelerate, get out of there and watch the ensuing melee in my rear-view mirrors.

I make it home another day! Yipee!