See and Be Seen
See and Be Seen

Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute (SIPDE)

Experienced riders make a practice of being aware of what is going on around them. They can create their riding strategy by using a system known as SIPDE. SIPDE is an acronym for the process used to make judgements and take action in traffic. It stands for:

  • Scan
  • Identify
  • Predict
  • Decide
  • Execute



Search aggressively for potential hazards. Scanning provides you with the information you need to make your decisions in enough time to take action.


Locate hazards and potential conflicts. The hazards you encounter can be divided into three groups based on how critical their effect on you may be.

  • Cars, trucks and other vehicles - They share the road with you, they move quickly, and your reactions to them must be quick and accurate.
  • Pedestrians and animals - They are characterized by unpredictability and short quick moves.
  • Stationary objects - Chuckholes, guard rails, bridges, roadway signs, hedges, or rows of trees won't move into your path, but may create or complicate your riding strategy.


The greatest potential for a conflict between you and other traffic is at intersections. An intersection can be in the middle of an urban area or at a driveway on a residential street-anywhere other traffic may cross your path of travel. Most motorcycle/automobile collisions occur at intersections. And most of these collisions are caused by an on-coming vehicle turning left into the path of the motorcycle. Your use of SIPDE at intersections is critical.

Before you enter an intersection, search for:

  • Oncoming traffic that may turn left in front of you.
  • Traffic from the left.
  • Traffic from the right.
  • Traffic approaching from behind.


Be especially alert at intersections with limited visibility. Be aware of visually "busy" surroundings that could camouflage you and your motorcycle.


Anticipate how the hazard may affect you. The moving direction of a potential hazard is important. Clearly, a vehicle moving aware from you is not as critical as a vehicle moving in your path.

Determine the effect of the hazard - i.e., where a collision might occur. How critical is the hazard? How probable is a collision? This is the "What if..?" phase of SIPDE that depends on your knowledge and experience. Now estimate the consequences of the hazard. How might the hazard-or your effort to avoid it-affect you and others?


Determine how to reduce the hazard. There are only three things you can do:

  • Communicate your presence. Communication is the most passive action you can take since it depends on the response of someone else. Use your lights and horn, but don't rely on the actions of others.
  • Adjust your speed. Adjustments of speed can be acceleration, slowing or stopping.
  • Adjust your position. Adjustments of position can be changing lane position or completely changing direction.


In both cases, the degree of adjustment depends on how critical the hazard is and how much time and space you have. The more time and space you have to carry out your decision, the less amount of risk you'll encounter.

In areas of high potential risk, such as intersections, give yourself more time and space by reducing the time you need to react. Cover both brakes and the clutch and be ready with possible escape routes.


Carry out your decision. This is when your riding skills come into play and this is where they must be second nature. The best decision will be meaningless without the skills to carry it out. Know your limits and ride within them.

SIPDE by Phillip Banks on Prezi NextManaging Risk: SIPDE | Nova Driving School