Coosa Valley Wings
Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge
|Gadsden, AL||Gold Wing Road Riders Association|
1. Observe terrain topology, and try to anticipate places ahead where deer crossings are more likely. For example, if you've just ridden past a mile of steep embankments and fences, and a clearing is ahead, intuitively, you can sometimes predict where deer are more likely to cross.
2. Use your horn - Gently. When approaching the riskier portions of the road (where your intuition tells you that deer may cross), bleep (2 brief toots) your horn once or twice as you approach. My experience has been that two brief toots are usually just enough to send deer into "alert" mode. i.e. Their ears perk-up as they attempt to determine the direction from which the sound originated. This inevitably results in them "freezing" for a second or two... which is just enough time for you to cruise safely past them. CAUTION: Remember... you don't want to scare them! A brief toot is NOT the same as a LONG BLAST. A long blast may startle them into an immediate stampede in whatever random direction they happen to be facing. The goal of your toot is to get them to look-up and perk their ears as they attempt to determine from whence the sound came.
3. Avoid staggered formation riding in risky areas. More specifically, DO NOT RIDE IN THE SLOT (i.e. the right track of the lane). I suggest that one of the goals of safe riding is to preserve as much reaction time and as many escape routes as possible. Riding the Right-side-track places a bike too close to the right side of the lane where an animal may dart-out (i.e. reduced reaction time), and completely excludes one (swerving right) of your three possible escape paths. (i.e. swerve right; swerve left; or go straight). Another way of saying this is that you should endeavor to keep as much asphalt as possible on either side of the motorcycle so as to preserve maneuvering options.
4. Delayed apex. Make it a point of using delayed-apex as your cornering METHOD OF CHOICE. During right-hand turns, it will provide you with a better (advanced) line of sight that may give you an extra second of reaction time to deal with threats that are hiding behind that blind turn. During blind left-hand turns, delayed apex reduces the chances of a head-on collision with a car that may have drifted over the centerline.
5. Adjust your scanning based on terrain. For example, if riding past open fields, make it a point to turn your head and scan a hundred or more yards to your left and right to make sure you do not collide with a deer that is already at full gallop and heading toward the road. If riding though heavily wooded areas scan and anticipate areas that are likely points of crossing. When you're feeling vulnerable, bleep your horn for a brief moment. Also remember, deer frequently travel in herds... where there is one , there may be more!
6. Cover your brakes. Make it a HABIT to ride with one or two fingers covering your brake lever. In an emergency, the half second you save may be sufficient to prevent a collision. Also, DO NOT allow yourself to be tailgated. During emergency braking, you may avoid a deer strike only to be crushed from behind by a truck or car that was unable to stop as quickly.
7. Early morning and early evening are the most active time for deer crossings, but BE ADVISED, I have seen deer dart across the roadway at ALL TIMES of the day and night. You should NEVER assume you are safe simply because it is 2:00 in the afternoon.
8. Use your Passenger’s EYES: I overtly request that my passenger help scan for deer in risky areas.
9. Overtly remind yourself and others to watch for deer. When riding with groups, I routinely (when in risky areas) will use the CB Radio to remind others to "watch for deer, watch for deer".
10. Reduce speed when risk factors are present.
I hope these suggestions are helpful. Many are intuitive, some are not.
By, Richard Rothschild
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Next Monthly Gathering
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Coosa Valley Wings gathering -- Western Sizzlin, Hwy 431 in Boaz, Eat 5:00pm / Meet 6:00pm
Last Visit: 9/25/2016 6:15:34 PM