I was at a party recently and someone happened to mention that I’m a motorcycle safety guy. That pretty much triggered a series of testimonials by a number of folks conveying how they or someone they knew had to “lay it down” when some idiot cager pulled in front of them. As each told his unique story, the common theme was, “there was nothing I could do.” To prove it, the riders who told me firsthand showed me their scars. The folks telling of their husband/son/brother/cousin/neighbor went into gory detail about injuries and hospital stays, somehow believing that information was critical for me to know. I’ve experienced this scenario many times and each time I bite my tongue to keep from being rude or to in any way downplay their experiences with my contrasting take on things. The truth is, more than 90% of motorcycle crashes can be avoided. Contrary to popular belief, our destiny is not strictly in the hands of other drivers on the road nor are we just living right or “lucky” to have avoided crashing up to this point. It’s been said that there are two kinds of riders: those who have crashed and those who will. Well, I would argue that any time we reach the point of “there’s nothing I could do” and end up in an inevitable crash it is only because we have failed to effectively recognize a developing situation (or the potential of one) early and establish our response before it is too late to do anything about it. Examine any crash you have seen, heard of or experienced and I would challenge that nearly every instance could likely have been avoided, regardless of whom may have been found at fault.