Unfortunately, we’ve seen our share of fellow riders go down. Some incidents have been rider error, some have been due to cagers who weren’t paying attention. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, motorcycle fatalities have been on the rise an average of 10-percent per year over the last 20 years. That’s a crappy statistic that needs to change.
While every month should be motorcycle awareness month, May gets that designation. So not to be preachy, but the following are steps you can take to keep from becoming a statistic:
- Wear a freakin’ helmet. Yeah, we know, the wind in the hair feels great. We’ve done it. So go stand in front of a fan! Or get on a bicycle. But once you’re on your motorcycle, cover yer noggin.
- Wear gear. Road rash is treated just like a burn when it’s deep enough. Racers don’t go around a track with no gear and they’re in a controlled environment with no cagers anywhere near them. There’s a reason. At least, ride with some pants on!
- Make yourself visible and noticeable. Some people like the bright yellow vests. We’re not a fan. Have to draw the line somewhere. But use turn signals. Wave. Turn up your radio if you have one. We’re fans of loud pipes. Or better yet, buy a bright colored bike. We like red!
- Plan ahead. This is one of the first things they tell you in a motorcycle safety course. Watch what’s going on in front of you and have an out. That’s harder to do if you’re impaired in anyway. So there’s also that.
- Don’t treat your time in the saddle as some kind of armor against hurt. The unseen pothole, the frightened deer, the cager on a cellphone doesn’t care about your experience as a motorcyclist. At best, you can use your experience to keep you from doing something stupid, and maybe even get out of a situation that could get ugly.
And for cagers, we have only this to say:
STAY OFF YOUR PHONE. SHARE THE ROAD. WATCH OUT FOR US!
Now go ride, and ride well this month…and every other one to come.