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Risk Hierarchy: Information - Rider Ed - Driver Ed - Conspicuity - Bike Defect - Ultra-Defensive Riding - Crash Avoidance - Injury Mitigation - Crash Scene

 Bike on geen cross  Biker Safety

Riding safely is a complex subject, so we break it down. It's a Risk Hierarchy. Sorting a problem earlier in the hierarchy means that there are fewer crashes to deal with at the more risky later levels.

Bike Safer Risk Hierarchy
Open book
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We need a new study on motorcycle safety. We review the old Hurt Study, other relevant studies and summarize what we can find from other sources. The information we have, incomplete as it is, is what guides us in the rest of the site.
Motorcycle at school
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Rider Education and Training. The best information we have is that rider education, training and skills deficits feature in the majority of crashes. Training sources and information are here. Good training is basic to all the sections 4 (Conspicuity) to 9 - (Biker Down).

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Driver education. One of the major causes of crashes is the inability of many drivers to properly see bikers. Every driver we can reach and educate to watch for bikers is a potential crash averted, and if we could reach them all, some large percentage of crashes, (maybe a quarter or half) would never happen. go
Conspicuous eye
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Conspicuity measures for bikes. Things bikers can do to be seen better and help drivers estimate our closing speed. In this section, we look at passive measures we can do before we ride. Active conspicuity is covered in the Ultra-Defensive section. go
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Bike Defect prevention. Although a small number of crashes are caused by bike problems, they do seem to put the biker at more risk of injury and death when an accident does happen. This is an important aspect of preparing for a ride. Other important aspects of preparation include Rider protection is in the Injury Mitigation section as it is not deployed until an accident is happening.. go
target biker
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Ultra-defensive riding skills to try and prevent crash causation. These are a collection of on-road riding strategies that we organize as a priority list. The intention is to improve our observation, evaluation and decision processes on the road. go
Steer with handlebars
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Evasion and Mitigation. The rider has been unable to avoid a potential crash, we say crash causation has occurred. Learned skills can help the rider mitigate the effects of the crash or even evade the crash altogether. We hate to get to this point. Reaction time is measured in milliseconds, if you are lucky. We and the bike better be ready, and this is training and preparation. go
Evel Knievel Helmet
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Injury Mitigation. If we have to go down, our equipment might help us reduce the level of injury. We plough fearlessly through the many strong opinions on the matter. Here's our section on helmets and other equipment, for comfort, conspicuity and protection. go
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Crash Scene Assistance: All else has failed, and a fellow biker has gone down, but there are still things we can do to help. go


We'd all like to handle bike safety issues as early as possible in this escalating Risk Hierarchy.

Note: We put 'active conspicuity' in the Ultra Defensive section, and we have put 'rider equipment' in the Injury Mitigation section.