|Because, in a high percentage of motorcycle in traffic interactions, there really are no "accidents".
Most riders, media, crash analysts, even some cycle safety reporters, tend to report and focus on the after-effect of a close call or crash. A typical crash event may be reported as, "the car driver failed to see the rider and failed to yield the right of way. The rider applied the brakes, evidenced by the skid marks, but struck the left front fender of the car. The rider sustained injuries but is stable in the local hospital." Of course, all the reports typically focus on the aftermath, because that is all there is as evidence to report.
Yet, a very high percentage of close calls, near misses, and crashes, are determined before the event ever happened. And that is where all riders can do a LOT to simply reduce the incidents, or eliminate them almost entirely. SO many riders, and SO many reports do nothing to study why the event even happened, and especially what could or should have been done before the end result occurred.
It is critical to always go back the seconds, moments BEFORE a close call or crash occurs, to learn and determine what caused that eventual outcome, because it is very rarely a true accident of events. Consider many factors beyond just your and your bike (position of the sun, terrain, vegetation, signage, road layout, time of day, traffic patterns) that all had impact on the result. Doing this, you'll very likely recall clues or conditions that should register an action required by you, BEFORE you got there. Something as minor as adjusting speed or position prior to the event could be all that is needed to avoid it entirely. Yet, so many riders treat the results as unavoidable, as a ritual part of riding almost (those who have fallen, those who will fall), or do not consider their own contribution (and yes, FAULT) for causing the event to happen. Doing this "ride recall" of any event WILL show you things and actions that DID have impact on the result, especially if you as the rider did nothing to react to the conditions, but merely ride along expecting everything is great five seconds ahead, as it was five seconds back.
I urge ALL riders, in ALL traffic situations, ALL road conditions, ALL crashes, to ALWAYS go back in time before the event happened to determine what you as the rider did to cause the event. If you feel you cannot determine anything that you did to cause the outcome, then you are likely doomed to do it again, perhaps with dire results. Everything that happens on your bike and your ride is a learning experience. And if you don't learn and improve from every ride and every instance, your survival rate is dropping with every ride. But, if you work your "ride recall" aggressively, you WILL realize what you should be doing to improve your survival rate, reduce/eliminate your close calls, and avoid the crash events entirely. This is foundation of rider intuition that riders of decades experience and hundreds of thousands of miles rely on to keep riding.
Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Post Edited (Andy VH) : 11/9/2011 8:21:58 PM GMT