Why it Helps to See

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), in its Basic RiderCourseSM (BRC) and other curricular products, promotes a three-part process with the acronym SEE (Search, Evaluate, Execute) as the core of a personal safe-riding strategy.

Operating a motor vehicle, especially on public roads, is not a passive activity but a complex task that involves more than just knowing how to use the accelerator, brakes, and steering. Motor vehicle operators require visual, cognitive and motor skills. These three distinct skills are transformed into three easily understood terms: Search, Evaluate, Execute. An additional benefit of the three terms is that they form an acronym – SEE – that is easy to remember and is relevant to the driving/riding task in and of itself.

The SEE process is applicable not only to the operation of any type of motor vehicle, but can work equally well as a risk-management strategy for bicyclists or even pedestrians interacting within a motor vehicle environment.


SEE is an active, thinking strategy that places responsibility on the motor vehicle operator to reduce risk by creating time and space in order to control a personal margin of safety. Besides being a simplified three-step process and easy to remember, SEE as a word acronym connects a thinking strategy with visual perception, which is dominant for safe vehicle operation. This is supported by the Hurt Report which stated in one of its recommendations and proposed countermeasures “…the need for the motorcycle rider to develop a traffic strategy so that he can SEE AND BE SEEN in traffic. This should be the most important component of any motorcycle rider training program.”

SEE STrategy

All car drivers should use SEE, which due to its simplicity and effectiveness may prove to be as beneficial in reducing traffic collisions as another well-known strategy that it complements, the “two-second rule.”