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Attitute

Posted by krnleroux on June 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Safety Feature Topic : Attitude The single biggest killer of road-users whether they are bikers, car drivers or pedestrians is not speed. It is not a fast motorcycle or a fast car. It is not the road that is dangerous or slippery or uneven or steep or too much camber or too little. It is not the power of the engine you control....the single biggest killer of people on our roads is your ATTITUDE. In a world where we control so little, the one thing we control completely is our thinking. Our thinking is what controls our Attitude. Our Attitude determines our actions and our actions ultimately decides our destiny. How we think about ourselves when we mount that machine is what determines how we act when riding. The biker who thinks s/he can get hurt generally approaches riding more cautiously than one who believes he is invincible. The rider who realises s/he can get hurt generally rides more slowly and pays more attention to the environment through which s/he passes. As a result of this caution s/he sees danger approaching long before it gets to him/her. This creates the time and distance required to safely avoid the danger. This rider generally survives the road network because s/he has a survival attitude created by intelligent thinking. The biker who doesn’t believe he can get hurt, rides harder and faster, takes more chances, does not look for the dangers and so does not see the danger until its way too late. His/her attitude does not take into account the fact that other people have the same attitude as s/he has. This type of biker normally cannot avoid the danger simply because s/he wasn’t expecting it. The rider who recognised that s/he could get hurt saw it coming because his/her attitude was directed at staying safe. This safety orientated attitude allowed him/her to see the danger sooner and because of his/her lower speed and raised level of awareness s/he could stop in time. The “invincible” rider saw the danger after it was already too late and because s/he was going so much faster s/he had no time or distance in which to react at all. Believing that you can’t get hurt is the first big Attitude Mistake. The second Big attitude mistake is believing the other driver/rider/pedestrian has seen you. If you allow yourself to believe that the other guy has seen you then your attitude will be one of expecting him/her to respect your right of way. After all “s/he saw me!..” WRONG!! The third big attitude mistake is believing the other guy will obey the law and respect your right of way.

By adopting this attitude you lose all your power to stay safe, hell you don’t just lose it you throw it away. You by this thinking give that complete stranger the power of life and death over you simply by expecting them to consider you. They will not....and you will die.

Adopt an attitude which accepts that the other person has not seen you, which accepts that they cannot see you. Imagine for a second that you and your bike are completely invisible to everyone else. Now imagine riding down the road with other traffic. if no-one could see you and all the responsibility for your own safety was yours alone, then how would you ride so that no one could collide with you. NEVER assume they have seen you!.... NEVER trust that you will be safe simply because you have the right of way. Assuming anything other than the other guy is a complete and utter idiot is the fourth big attitude mistake. ALWAYS ..................Ride like you are invisible. When you ride your big beautiful machines and move about in packs do you ever consider the psychological effect that has on non-bike riding car drivers? When we as bikers feel threatened while riding our bikes the natural response is aggression. The threat to our safety does not have to be real......just perceived and we react aggressively because it’s in our nature. Flight or fight kicks in so we have to fight or flee. But as bikers we don’t flee... we never flee...we then have no other option but to fight. Our basic conditioning is informed by our attitude and that conditioning leads to often poor decisions or to choices that make us unsafe. Yet when car drivers perceive our behaviour as threatening and they respond aggressively we just can’t understand why they would do so. We need to remember that when you as a biker are driving your car you are the same person as you were before getting off your bike. You have the same insecurities and personality quirks as you had before getting into the driver’s seat and you have the same attitude you had as a biker, only now that attitude will guide a car and will present itself as an idiot cager with a bad attitude who puts a fellow biker at risk. Your road use attitude does not change simply because of the vehicle you control. The road user whose attitude is reckless will have that attitude regardless of whether the vehicle is a bike, car or truck. Change your thinking....change your attitude, because while revving that bike may be fun for the biker, the noise created can scare the living hell out of the car driver who isn’t a biker and who doesn’t get it. Think about what fear could cause him/her to do...what could his/her fight or flight response be? How can this affect your safety? When we have a blow out or come short on our own oil it is not an act of God. It is our own fault for having a sloppy attitude to performing proper maintenance. Slick tyres are for the track on dry weather days. No tread means nowhere for the water to go and results in the tyre and bike being lifted off the surface as you go faster.

As a result, you can’t brake or steer ....so you crash.......... all because your attitude to maintenance sucks. If your lights don’t work ...walk. The thinking that luck will help you make it to where you are going will get you killed because now the other twit really can’t see you.

If the ride is not roadworthy park it and walk. Your survival chances are far higher as a pedestrian than on an unroadworthy or unsafe bike.

If you think that bad crashes only happen to the other guy...then consider that to me You ARE the other guy. How we think about the issues affecting our safety decides just how safe we will be. If you think that the State is looking out for your safety......think again. Who was it that allowed you to get away with riding your bike without a licence and how did you manage to do so without ever being stopped for ten, twelve or more years? Then who allowed you to write a theory test which briefly touched on the rules of the road, the road signs and motorcycle controls before allowing you to ride unsupervised in traffic on the strength of that little piece of paper called a learners licence? Who allowed you buy any bike you wanted and ride it on the road with other traffic on the strength of that learners licence without ever being tested for riding ability or competence and without receiving any instruction at all? Who tested you on a flat piece of tar without ever checking whether or not you could ride safely in traffic(which is where you are going to have to ride and also where most bikers get injured or killed)? Who gave you a drivers licence for driving around what is in reality nothing more than a parking lot? If your thinking is that as a biker the State has your back...think again. Change your Attitude- Only YOU are responsible for you. Some believe law enforcement should keep us safe. It’s their responsibility after all to ensure that people don’t break the law. Well, the people who break the law are the very ones who think nothing will happen to them if they do. Sadly, from a legal perspective, they are often right. From a Karmic perspective however, they either kill or get killed They outnumber the cops by several thousand to one and so they get away with behaviour that puts us all at risk. Don’t rely on law enforcement to keep you alive. Make a conscious effort to not be one of those who think breaking the law is ok because there is no consequence. The consequence could very well be the loss of your life or the life of someone else. Be responsible for the safety of your pillion before yourself, after all, your pillion thinks (rightly or wrongly)that they can trust you and by getting onto the bike they entrust their lives to you. (How’s that for blind faith) Don’t betray that trust. Even the thinking of law enforcers contributes to the problems of safety we experience. Some cops think that because they enforce the law that this sets them above the law. Their thinking that they are untouchable allows them to display an attitude of disregard for the very laws they are sworn to uphold.

As an example of this ask yourself...When last have you seen a police or traffic police vehicle actually driving at or under the prevailing speed limit? If you have recently, then give that officer a mental pat on the back. If you haven’t in a while then make a mental note to never allow that disgrace in uniform to be responsible for you adopting his attitude towards the laws designed to keep you safe. When last have you seen a Traffic Officer actually stop someone and issue a fine? Not a ticket for parking but for some of the real dangerous driving stuff. Their displayed attitude leads us to question the need to obey the law. The problem with adopting a lawless attitude is that the rules of the road were designed to keep everyone alive and in one piece. Only when we disregard these rules do collisions happen. When collisions happen, society, the police, the courts all almost immediately accept the attitude that the biker was at fault because ...we are perceived as being hooligans, a perception created by the attitude we display to our own safety and to that of other road users. We as bikers need to change this perception and we can only do so by changing our attitude. It is an almost immediate assumption that the bike was going too fast. While this may be accurate in some cases it remains wrong to assume that every bike was speeding simply because it is a bike. Sadly, we as bikers have created this thinking in the minds of others strengthening their attitudes towards us as a community. We have created the impression in the minds of non-bikers by the loud pipes, the quick acceleration and the lane splitting that we are fast, fast , fast. The fact that most bikers are self taught, or taught by friends or family often means that bad and dangerous habits are often passed down through generations. Some bikers believe that because they have not fallen from their bike that they can ride. Most believe they are competent to ride yet of these many riders out there... There are still only two classes of rider. Those who have fallen and those who will fall. The correct attitude to riding will determine how bad the consequences will be when not “if” it happens. Many will suffer injury and death simply because of bad riding habits tied to the incorrect Attitude to Survival. Remember that a chimpanzee can be taught to ride a motorcycle at speed and in a straight line...with enough power, the vehicle dynamics will keep the bike upright and on course. The Chimp is at this point just a passenger. Stop thinking like a chimp. Remember riding a bike on our roads requires survival skills..........NOT luck!!. Developing the correct Attitude to survival is the most basic skill you need.

1. Appreciate the value of your life.

2. Never place yourself where someone else’s behaviour determines your destiny .

3. See everything. Be prepared to sacrifice ego for safety

4. Accept responsibility and commit yourself to

a. Obeying the rules of the road, regardless of what someone else does.

b. Always expect the other person to do that one thing which will endanger your safety.

c. Never assume anyone has seen you even if they are looking straight at you.

d. Accepting that non-bikers have no clue of just how quickly your bike moves and so will often misjudge your speed(even when under the speed limit)

e. You being responsible for you.

f. Ride like you are invisible.

I hope this note provokes some thought on the issues mentioned. Keep both wheels on the road and keep your focus on your own safety.

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