January 6, 2017 Tags: , ,
Before It All Goes Wrong


Thanks to the rise in riders making videos of their everyday adventures, we recently had a unique opportunity to view the reactions of two different motorcyclists to one hazardous situation.  While our aim is not to denigrate any motorcyclist and hope you join us in avoiding negative character attacks of either rider, we think honest critique of these videos is so valuable in helping all motorcyclists become better at spotting and avoiding hazards.  In alignment with our mission to create better trained, better educated riders, we are compelled to share these videos.

It is important for the motorcycling community to be able to critically think about various scenarios and have sincere conversations no matter how unpleasant.  Learning from the experience of others can help us avoid our very own pain-reinforced learning sessions.


The scenario is this:

  • Motorcyclist traveling at night Westbound on San Tan Freeway to I-10 is confronted with a pickup truck that has rammed into the barrier and is now stopped across a lane of traffic.

We talk a lot in our courses about how risk factors tend to pile up to create highly risky situations.  This scenario is a prime example of how multiple factors can lead to harm.  The risk factors include:

  • At night so visibility is decreased
  • Freeway speeds means riders are traveling almost 100 feet per second
  • The ramp is curved
  • Colder temperatures means less available traction
  • Colder rider could be distracted, less capable of reaction
  • Can you think of any additional factors?


Video #1

Man Lays Down Motorcycle

Video #2

Terry Emerson Avoids Motorcycle Crash
You’ll need Facebook to see this video. The rider in this video, Terry Emerson, uses his situational awareness to avoid a scary situation.


As you can tell from the videos two riders were presented with a hazardous situation and their reactions created two very different results.  What can we learn from these two videos?  What are your thoughts about how each of these riders approached the hazard?  What worked?  What didn’t?

 For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

Bill Seltzer RiderCoachBill Seltzer has been a Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach since 2003 and a Total Control Advanced Riding Instructor since 2011.  He currently serves as the Marketing Director for TEAM Arizona and is a member of the Arizona Strategic Highway Safety Planning committee.  Have questions or comments about the article?  Email him: Bill@MotorcycleTraining.com


  1. Volker 9 months Reply

    I do not have effen Facebook so I cannot watch an important safety related video. What good does that do. Are you assuming EVERYBODY has fallen for the Facebook craze?
    Make this stuff available to everybody. That should be your goal! Or just post it on Facebook and leave the rest of the population in the dark.

    BTW… I don’t use Twitter either like our future flip-flopper in chief! It’s just as unprofessional as Facebook!

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Bill Seltzer 9 months Reply

      Thanks, Volker, for your comment. We do our best to be a beacon of light for rider education and try hard to be inclusive of the entire motorcycling community. Sometimes our resources are limited.

      We did not assume everyone has Facebook which is why we placed the disclaimer at the bottom of the image. unfortunately, we were unable to obtain the actual footage before the newsletter went out and we didn’t want to delay in getting the information out to our readers. On a positive note, we reached out to the video owner and he has agreed to share the video with us. As soon as we get the video and upload it to our site, we’ll share it with our readers and provide an alternative link in the original article.

      Thanks for being a reader. We look forward to providing more high-quality, free content in the future.

  2. James Hietter 9 months Reply

    First video. Rider could have been looking farther ahead and had a greater margin of missing the truck.
    Second video. Rider could have been going faster then his ability to see far enough ahead , there by increasing his risk factor

    • Bill Seltzer 9 months Reply

      Nice one James. Thanks for your comment. We totally agree…looking farther ahead could help both riders. The faster we go, the farther ahead we need to look. Cheers!

  3. Shelby 9 months Reply

    Awesome info, thanks guys!