I recently asked a group of bikers why dogs chase motorcycles. In retrospect, I should have
anticipated their response. After looking at me for what seemed an eternity, all of them replied in unison, “Because they can.”
According to a 2012 study conducted by the National Safety Council, motorcyclists accounted for fifteen percent of all traffic fatalities, eighteen percent of all occupant deaths and four percent of all occupant injuries. These alarming statistics are compounded by the fact motorcycles make up only three percent of all registered vehicles and only seven tenth of a percent of all vehicle miles traveled in the United States.
As uninformed the group of bikers seemed to have been, there is a likely chance they were on to something much broader. Decidedly so, most experts believe vehicle noises lead certain dogs to play the chase away game. The actual sound of wheels making contact with the pavement, summons a dogs senses to protect from the threat of danger. That coupled with owners who unknowingly allow their pets to romp in a yard next to busy highways can prove catastrophic!
Animals chasing after vehicles can can initiate a riders automatic response system. This scenario heightens the chance of fatalities. If thats not scary enough, further research shows that a medium sized dog careening into the side of a moving vehicle can hit with a force of fifteen hundred pounds. Obviously, that much force can cause serious injuries, damage to the vehicle and possible death for both the rider and the dog.
I took this as a wise piece of advice. I now take extreme precaution when approaching an oncoming animal. It is a maneuver known as “Stop and Go.” This proper technique, according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, advises the rider to slow down as if to stop, but don’t. Then accelerate quickly past the dog.
Dogs can anticipate speed, distance, and trajectory. The change in speed with “Stop and Go” will quickly vary your location, and throw the dog off your path of trajectory. Simply put, “Stop & Go” can temporarily fool the dog and allow time for safe passage.
In conclusion, it pays to remember some crucial facts for motorcyclists. First, dogs have an uncanny grasp of math, better than most humans. And secondly, “Stop & Go” is the best approach to avoid an accident.
have fun and ride safe!