Slow hands - this is one of the more important things I learned when I took motorcycle lessons. It will help you avoid many accidents. Most of the riding I do is in the city, and as a result the Slow Hands rule has helped me a lot in this type of riding environment.
get me wrong, there are many things that can get riders into trouble, but "fast hands" in particular is something that can get riders into a lot of trouble. When changing gears and/or braking, do not, I repeat, do not do so quickly.
DO NOT slam on the brakes when in a panic situation. So, you ask, but what do I do in a panic situation? SEE, THINK, ACT. Anticipation and diligence is the key to this rule. Always look ahead to what's happening ahead of you on the road. Not just immediately ahead of you, but also down the road. Is there construction happening, a car on a side street trying to merge into your lane, a left turning car in the oncoming lane?
By looking well ahead, and analyzing what's happening around you, allows you to SEE, THINK, and ACT in a timely manner. As students we used to laugh when the instructors made us call out "CLUUUUUUUTCH and BRAAAAAAKE" as we used our clutch and brakes. The idea was to not only remind us to breath while riding, but also to remember to not slam on the clutch and brakes while riding. Hope this helps.