To be a safe rider you have to constantly pay attention to your surroundings. Just a split second of inattention could result in an accident. The ability to enjoy the ride and simultaneously be aware of your surroundings becomes more natural the longer you ride. For newer riders, it is a skill that must be learned and practiced.
As your skills develop you will be able to enjoy the ride and simultaneously “SEE“. SEE is a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) acronym that stands for Search, Evaluate and Execute. “SEARCH” is scanning your surroundings for potential hazards at all times. “EVALUATE” is evaluating potential dangers and making a plan in case you need to avoid the danger. “EXECUTE” stands for executing the proper skill to avoid the danger such as a quick stop, swerving, or speeding up to avoid the danger, etc.
For example, let’s say you’re riding along a curvy, country road, enjoying the scenery and smelling the wildflowers. You’re calm and comfortable. Suddenly, out of the blue, a deer darts out in front of you. Did you see it? Did you have a plan to avoid the danger? Did you execute the proper skill to avoid the deer? Here is how the SEE system is broken down in this situation.
SEARCH. You would have been scanning the sides of the road especially near brushy areas where deer like to feed on the foliage, and water sources where they go to quench their thirst. You might even have noticed a posted sign warning of deer in the area. Whether or not you actually saw the deer, you were aware that there was a potential for deer crossing in the area you are riding.
EVALUATE. You recognized the potential danger and planned to slow down and covered the brakes in case of a need for a quick stop.
EXECUTE. You took some preventative measures like slowing down to give yourself more time to react if a deer should leap out in front of you. You rolled off the throttle. You were going 65 mph, and now you’re going 35 mph. Suddenly, a deer leaps out in front of you. You have already slowed down and now you make a quick, sudden stop. You have practiced your sudden stops, so it comes naturally to you. The bike comes to a controlled stop and the deer crosses the road in front of you. Because of your riding skills and awareness using the SEE System, you’ve avoided the danger are are now able to continue to enjoy the ride.
You won’t have deers crossing your path or life-threatening situations occurring on every ride, but you should recognize that the potential for danger is always there. By using the SEE System, you will be aware and ready to take action should dangerous situations occur. By constantly practicing your riding skills, you will be able to execute the right skill when the situation calls for it.