Always use SIPDE when on the road


Well, it’s official: Summer is here in the Ohio Valley. Warm weather, school is out, longer days and motorcycle riding.

We all have seen the bumper stickers, yard signs and billboards telling motorists to look out and be aware of motorcycles as they can often sneak up on us much quicker and are simply more difficult to see coming. The tip for automobile drivers is great and should be adhered to, but today I want to focus on the motorcycle operator.

As a retired Motorcycle Safety Foundation trainer and coach, I’d like to share what I believe was one of the most important teaching fundamentals that were taught during the back then Motorcycle Enrichment Program, a course covering the fundamentals of motorcycle operation.

The process was known as SIPDE. Although it can and should be applied to whatever type of vehicle you are operating, it is more important for the motorcycle operator.

The true and only risk of injury provisions for motorcycle operators is you, your knowledge, the ability of the operation and the protective gear you are wearing. Thus, there is a need to fully understand how to safely operate your motorcycle.

SIPDE is a five-step process that every motorcycle operator must fully apply during their riding. It stands for Search, Identify, Predict, Decide and Execute. Sounds like a lot, but once you get used to it, it comes naturally.

Search: Study the roadway, first forward, three to five seconds ahead, then a 10 to 20-second forward glance, then to your sides, and don’t forget that rearview mirror check, a constant scanning of the roadway.

Identify: What you see: traffic, road construction, intersections, crosswalks and vehicles approaching from the rear too fast. All these are going to require you to be prepared to take action.

Predict: It is now when you need to predict, based on your training and your skill as to what action you may have to take. Once you have chosen your action, it is now time to decide what you are going to do.

Decide: The action you have chosen must take place. Whatever it is, make that decision and don’t wait until the risk is upon you. Be prepared by covering the clutch, front brake lever or full grip on the throttle. Remove the reaction time and be prepared to execute.

Execute: Execute your decision. This simply put is doing what you need to do.

The SIPDE process is something that I always use, no matter what vehicle I am operating. motorcycle operators must be more of a defensive driver than those in the automobile.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay smart.




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