Monday, July 20, 2009

Start Seeing

It's riding season and the fatalities are happening. I didn't know this man but I'm still taking his needless death quite hard. I'm so terribly sad for his family, and for those in the car that hit him too. They will travel with that moment for the rest of their lives. As a "biker" I'm all too familiar with this issue. I've been cut off and put my bike down. I know first hand what pavement feels like when it takes your skin. Almost daily someone turns left in front of me or changes lanes into or directly in front of me. Assuming I'm invisible and that everyone is out to kill me are the only reasons I'm alive today.

Most drivers think that motorcyclists die on the highway or that those shirtless idiots doing a wheelie on the freeway are the number one organ donors. According to the NHTSA 50% of fatalities involve another vehicle and of those 38% (in 2005) were turning left as the bike was moving straight or overtaking. That is - the biggest killer of motorcyclists are drivers turning left in front of an on coming bike or worse - turning left from the right lane! They all say the same thing - "I didn't see him".

Every person involved in a wreck are a father, brother, daughter, wife, husband, mom, sister, boy or girl friend to someone. If you turn without looking and kill another person. Imagine living with that.

This last video is fairly shocking but exactly illustrates the problem.

Starting with your morning or evening commute today. LOOK for motorcycles. LOOK before you turn. Double check that "opening" in traffic. LOOK before you change lanes. Put down the phone!

If you are a fellow rider. Please wear the gear. Assume you are invisible at all times and take the MSF course. Even though I had to pick scabs for 6 weeks - I'm convinced it saved my life and I'm going to go back for the advanced rider course.

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