MSF-Motorcycle Safety Foundation, The Brake or Swerve Decision
SF-Motorcycle Safety Foundation
The Brake or Swerve Decision
The decision whether to brake first or swerve first in an emergency is critical. You need excellent Search skills so you can effectively Evaluate and use your escape options. Keep in mind an escape option can change quickly if the hazard is moving. For example, a car pulling out in front of you could continue in it’s path or it could stop right in front of you. If you brake without enough distance to stop, you would crash at a reduced speed.
If you swerve without slowing and do not have enough space to avoid the hazard, you would crash at your original speed. Here are examples that require a quick decision and action. When going straight: A car backs out of a driveway. Would you brake and swerve? Would you do the same for a child chasing a ball into the street? When in a curve: You notice an obstacle is in your intended path. Would you have enough space to straighten and then brake before continuing around it? If you brake while leaned over, is there enough space to swerve and recover?