I was leafing through an old “Hog Tales” magazine from November/December 2004 and came upon an article about safe riding and the hidden dangers of the roads. The article titled Between the Lines, discusses ways to maintain your focus and improve your odds of avoiding a crash. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation ® (MSF) created  an acronym to help us stay sharp and focused while riding.

S.E.E. stands for Search, Evaluate, and Execute. 

SEARCH: as you ride, scan the area aggressively, including the areas along the road and behind you. Look under parked cars for legs and feet of children who might dart out between parked cars. Look for drivers in parked cars who might suddenly fling open their doors.  When you scan, keep your eyes moving. Don’t become fixed on any one object. Scan behind, alongside and well ahead of you so you have time to react before you reach a potential hazard.    

EVALUATE: Use what you see to evaluate the situation, predict unexpected events and challenges that may arise, and formulate strategies to deal with them.  Predict or anticipate what potential the hazards have. Is there a deer on the side of the road that might jump out in front of you? How critical is the hazard and how probable is a collision? Determine what you should do based on your prediction. Adjust your speed and position on the roadway if necessary. Time and space are critical to your analysis and safety. Know your bikes capabilities and your own so you make the best possible plan for action. Obviously you must also consider the condition of the roadway and the traffic when you analyze your options.

EXECUTE: Adjust your speed and positioning accordingly and communicate with your fellow riders. This is when you carry out your decision. Your riding skills are critical to carrying out any significant maneuver and are why we advocate that all riders continue to take training courses. The adjustment you make will depend upon how critical the hazard is and how much time and physical space you have.

By using the S.E.E. approach you will stay more alert, identify potential hazards, improve your ability to plan an escape, and be in the best position to execute the necessary maneuvers to prevent harm to you and others.