I came across an interesting mention at the National Safety Council website about the fact that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. There just seems to be so much freedom on a motorcycle. That freedom can be a lot safer if we in our SUV’s will pay a little more attention to the situation when cycles meet the bigger dogs of vehicles on the roadways. Probably the most interesting aspect of the article was that it linked to a list of 10 suggestions for all of the rest of us on the road: the list put together very nicely by the MSF-Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
As I skimmed the list, I was captured by the last one. I am going to discuss it first. It encourages all drivers to look at a motorcycle in motion as a person. You know I don’t think that I’ve ever thought of it like that. Do we really ever get in the vehicle and think of the other machine as a person? We should. All too often, you will hear coffee shop talk about a cycle crash and someone will remark,”Well, what do you expect, they took their chances riding out like that without the protection you could get in a truck”. Well, I guess that’s true that they aren’t as surrounded by steel as I am in my Explorer, but what if we changed our perspective a little. What if 18-wheeler drivers considered that someone in a Volkswagen just chose not be as protected? Where does this attitude stop?
Back to the list, it is set up as ten quick things that car and truck drivers should know about motorcycles. It contains information that I was not aware of, like the fact that cyclists may slow down by “rolling off the throttle”, or downshifting. The importance of this fact is that we, as car or truck drivers are watching for the brakelights of other vehicles to clue us that they are slowing down. Someone on a cycle, though, may approach an intersection with no visual clue for us that their speed has diminished.
I won’t go over all of the tips as you can link here if you are interested. Perhaps if we all as drivers took a moment to read safety tips, the definition of freedom of the road would become a little clearer.
Recap-May-Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month