Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Motorcycle Awareness, Respect, and Education

It never fails. A biker goes down and people begin to tell stories. Most certainly embellished, of accidents they've heard of, you know, "friends of friends." They speak of the danger of riding a Harley, or other bike, shake their heads, and give us "the look." Yet, many times, these are the same people that water ski, snow ski, play hockey, ride quads, have their kids in football, and drive cars.

I had a friend that, a couple of days ago, was speaking of the danger of motorcycles and the stupidity of riders, only to go on and tell the tale of a horrendous car accident he had been in several years ago. It's funny, I saw his car in the parking lot, he seems to be continuing to drive. I'm willing to bet no one told him to stay out of a car, to sell his car, or of the risks of driving.

My dad was a pilot, he saw accidents through the years. He had friends killed, yet he still flew, and people board airplanes everyday. 

There's a shopping strip I frequent where I daily watch as cars, not only fail to stop, they don't even look to see if anyone, any thing, may be coming. Their heads never turn, they're lost in their own world.

Another friend of mine was hurt badly by a horse, yet no one spoke of her stupidity of having horses.

Many of my friends that are doctors, and trauma nurses ride, they know the risk, they see everything. There are dangers everywhere, in whatever you do.

I'm in no way saying there are no riders that make stupid mistakes, there are, just as in everything in life. Fact is each day you get out of bed you're taking a risk.

There is a stigma attached to bikers and motorcycles that needs to be broken. There's education that needs to take place. My kids that have taken driver's ed classes were never taught awareness of motorcycles, deer, kids playing, etc.

Accidents are going to happen in every area of life. Most of the riders I know are very aware of what's around them, when they're riding or driving. We tend to watch more because so many others don't. We see as people are distracted as they drive. We see when cars change lanes in an instant, without notice.

Riders are aware of the dangers, we watch.  We know there may be gravel, or wet leaves, on the road, we're watching for brake lights many cars ahead of us, we scan the road, and our area, we watch for distracted drivers, we watch for animals, rocks and road debris. Most riders are very aware.

Give motorcycles room, don't cut them off, and give them the respect you want given to you, give them the awareness you want given to your children. Be aware, and before you tell a biker all the reasons they shouldn't ride, think of the risks you take each day of your life.

Watch what's around you. It may just be your own life you save, or that of a child you failed to see running after a ball.
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  1. I agree so much about this Biker Babe, accidents involving motorcycles often occur due to a lack of respect and like you say awareness from drivers, they're not cautious enough and don't consider the consequences enough, it's really important that awareness and care is improved before more deaths occur.

    1. True. Just today, I watched as three drivers ran stop sign and never turned their heads. Wake up world. Accidents happen everywhere, I think we all know that, but to blame a rider for their choice? Love you Yeamie! Thanks for coming over here!

  2. Very well put BB.... being a rider myself... 52 years this summer, I can relate to unaware drivers who would kill you in a heartbeat and all you would get is an "I'm sorry, I didn't see you!" Well, get your face out of your cell phone or dash and get your eyes on the road! Most won't do that so as motorcyclists we must pay attention for them all.

    1. True, but there are riders, unfortunately, that believe they're invincible. Everyone needs to be aware.

  3. As a long-term rider, I couldn't agree more. A study was done a few years ago, about car vs bike accidents, and the first statements from the car drivers in 97% of wrecks was "I never saw him". Sad but true. Riders, educate the public. Be an ambassador for motorcyclists everywhere.

    1. Yes, Garry, I read that story as well. That's what the woman said that was texting when she hit me. Uh, duh. My dad made me promise to make my bike so it could be seen, and add modulators. Then I decided to have it painted white and light pink, didn't see me? yeah right. Kids need to be taught awareness in schools, sadly they aren't.