My coworker’s brother was just killed on his motorcycle while stopped at a stoplight. As someone who rides a motorcylce every day, my heart goes out to my coworker and his family.
Inevitably when things like this happen, the conversation turns toward the people who ride motorcycles, like myself. I’ve been in countless conversations about how “I need to be careful out there” and “how dangerous it is to ride a motorcycle.” But I think that’s the wrong conversation to be having.
The better conversation to have would be centered around how people in cars can spot and avoid hitting motorcyclists. There are a few situations that I constantly encounter which would be a good starting point:
- Cars making left-hand turns. This is the number one offender when it comes to motorcycle-related deaths. It can happen at an intersection or when a car attempts to turn across oncoming traffic. I worry about this the most when there is heavy traffic.
- Cars changing lanes. This one usually happens on the highway for me, but it happens on side streets too. A car will change langes into my space. This can happen because a driver fails to check their blind spots before merging into the new lane.
- Drivers on their phones. I often see erratic, unpredictable driving. Almost every single time it is because the driver is on their phone. This has to stop, for the sake of everyone.
Rather than redirecting tragedies like this into discussion about the dangers of driving a motorcycle, let’s try to instead to have positive discussions about how we can better handle potentially dangerous scenarios while driving our cars.