This cliche situation may be more common than you think. Not long ago was doing a routine reading session at Barnes & Noble and found an article on a long-time motorcycle instructor on his way back home, after a seminar he taught on Animal Avoidance On The Road. As he was riding his bike with the satisfaction of a mission accomplished, hit a deer on his way and the result was fatal for both of them.
Here is the link to a video which, despite of its permanent no so aesthetic logo, brings up a set of interesting points about sudden impact with animals, visibility, speed, reaction and post accident safety procedures. The video starts off with a happy ride formation as viewed from a helmet-cam view, between leaders and trailers at speeds a somewhat higher than normal.
Shortly after our rider hits the deer with his front-right fairing and leg, he controls balance and maintains his trajectory; best of all he manages to decelerate uniformly until a safe stop. His riding buddy says ” you are luck, you are lucky!” and oh yes he was, because that event could have been tragic had it not been for the rider’s skills.
Of course, there was also a natural frustration about the bike’s damage and who knows if there was also any fracture on the leg. Still, all that happened was controlled and fortunate. I would even praise the idea of going back to the impact zone to pull the deer remains off of the road to avoid a further mishap. If you replay the impact, will see what you won’t on the first view, even if you know what you are about to see. On the subsequent reviews however, it is perfectly clear to your eyes how the deer strikes the bike (or viceversa?) with his disoriented and confused head.
A few thoughts…
1) Animal strikes can happen at any second the road, regardless whether it is day or night.
2) Ride at a speed you can deal with, in the event of a sudden change of conditions.
3) After impact, if possible, minor corrections will keep you in control. Decelerate slowly.
4) Safely return to the impact area and again, safely clean up the debris.
5) Although many of us love to ride alone, riding in group is much safer.
Here is the link:
The Motorcycle Safety Exchange