Word To The Wise

Safety Tip of the Week
A Stuntman's Safety Strategy

Stuntman Joe Zimmerman offers tips for motorcycle safety “from a stuntman’s perspective.” He says that our safety depends on what we do “before, during, and after” an accident. He says, “With prior knowledge and mental conditioning, understanding that even if you only had a fraction of a second to react to a collision, mentally preparing for it like a stunt could potentially save you from harm’s way.” In this blog, we’ll concentrate on the “before” part.

He strongly suggests taking a motorcycle skills course. Even long-time motorcycle enthusiasts can use reminders, and you just might learn something new. You can learn about throttle and brake manipulation for initiating turns, about intersection strategies and the effects speed has on braking distance, how to swerve around or over obstacles. A course can help you hone-in on your positioning and awareness skills. Joes says, “You’re never too experienced that you can’t learn something new, or refine your skills to become a safer and more responsible rider.”Safety skills, like all skills, need practice. Practicing your skills, such as being constantly alert to what’s ahead of you, behind you, and on either side of you, can make all the difference.

The “before” part also includes wearing the right gear. People who ride without it must think they will never be in an accident and so are neither physically nor mentally prepared. He tells us that when he performed even an easy stunt he always planned for anything that could possibly go wrong and had a “correction plan” for it.

He uses stopping at a stop sign as an example. He doesn’t just canvass the area. He keeps an awareness “that I could be road-kill at any moment.” And he considers what he could do to minimize the damage.