Animal Hazards – Dennis Murphy, Chapter Educator

            The reason I am writing about this is to remind you about it. I just got a phone call and it is not one that you want to receive. It was about two of my friends that had a bad accident with a deer. While they were riding on a back road enjoying the day, a deer came out of the woods and got them dead center on the bike.

It doesn’t happen very often but even while traveling on a highway you can suddenly be confronted with an animal in your path. Those of us who ride in the country tend to confront many types of animals with some regularity; deer, dogs, cows, birds and horses in roughly that order of frequency. On city streets there are just two varieties dogs and children. Dogs on city streets and highways are usually road kill before you get to them.

If you see an animal in your path, given plenty of warning, the obvious best move is to slow down and give it as wide a clearance as possible. However, in the case of an animal that jumps out of a nowhere situation, you have an immediate decision to make. Should you swerve and try not to hit it or should you panic stop.

Your best move is almost always to try a controlled panic stop. Do not lose control of your bike. Minimize the speed of impact. If you are good and practiced, you might not hit the animal at all. And even if luck is against you, you will still probably walk away from it.

Play the odds in your head before you get into the situations. Condition yourself, panic stops are not a bad thing. If you take some time to practice. It might save you a lot of heartache. Who knows it might improve your skills when you are in a bad situation.

Remember stay safe and happy riding.

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