Many years ago I read an article on motorcycle safety and they found that the majority of the accidents occurred within a few miles of the rider's home. Some people drew the conclusion that it was because that is where the majority of the riding is done, I feel that it's because you're in familiar territory so you let your guard down.
DO NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN, EVER!!!
After work I put acid in a new battery for a Buell and started fooling around with fuel injection adjustments on my 2004 Triumph Sprint. Typical motorcyclist unwind after work behavior.
Adjustments completed to my satisfaction I put on my helmet, jacket and gloves (already had boots on) and went out for the all important test ride. The test ride is always the best part!
I live on a shaded, residential street atop a small rise in the road and the speed limit is 25 MPH. My driveway is pretty long so I get going and pull the clutch in look ahead, all clear, look right, all clear, look left and HOLY SHIT!!! here comes an SUV doing about 40 and he's about to run me right over!
I grab the front brake and I'm on a small patch of dirt so I skid for about 3' until the front wheel hits nothing but pavement and it decides to throw itself on top of me at the end of my yard. Luckily, my fat (but hairy) body prevented any damage to the motorcycle but my left foot and both shoulders sure took a good shot.
To his credit, the teen aged boy who was driving the SUV stopped and helped me right the bike. Everything looked okay, I was crunched but not broken so I told him it's okay and he can go, I'll just soak everything in ice. I was battered, he was shaken, kind of like a martini, ha, ha.
Of course, I had to complete the test ride before everything tightened up. Yes, everything worked fine.
The moral of the story is: do not EVER assume that you're safe on a motorcycle no matter where you are or how slow you're going.
Learn from my mistake and take the extra second to stop and be damned sure that the coast is clear.
Even at the foot of your driveway they are out to get you.