Motorcycle to Work

Yesterday was national ride your motorcycle to work day, or at least that's what someone told me. Just like national don't buy gas day, or national finger up your butt day, I could really care less. If I'm going to ride to work, I'm going to ride to work. If not, then not.

As I was riding to work, there was a larger than usual backup in the regular lanes. So, I'm actually enjoying cruising along past them in the express lane. That is, until, the express lane becomes backed up. And it slows down to the point that there is only one reason for such a back up… an accident. In the center lane was a car, with a motorcycle smashed up behind it, and a police car behind that. No one appeared to be injured, the motorcyclist was standing and talking to the other driver. From the looks of what happened, the motorcyclist hit the guy in the car. A good day for him to be riding to work.

The implication in these situations, is usually when a car and motorcycle get in a wreck, it's the cars fault. That some jackass, is talking on the cell phone, putting on makeup, reading a magazine, or just plain and simply not paying attention. And it's true, many accidents are caused by this. The fact that they are hitting a motorcycle, doesn't play into effect as much as it's that they are dumbasses not watching what they are doing. I drive a Toyota pickup and have had people almost hit me from not paying attention on numerous occasions. I even had a person rear end me once, while I was parked at the gas station filling up. They pulled in, and drove right up to the back of my truck as if it weren't there. Which is one reason I have a trailer hitch on the back, instead of hurting my truck, they put a nice little ding in the front of their car.

Anyway - To get back to the point, I would imagine that many of the accidents involving motorcyclist are actually caused by the person on the bike. How many times have we seen someone racing back and forth weaving in and out of cars on the highway? I know I've seen it more than once. So I decided to do a little research on the subject.

- Helmet use among fatally injured motorcyclists below 50 percent
- High blood alcohol levels are a major problem among motorcycle operators
- Half of the fatalities are related to negotiating a curve prior to the crash
- Over 80 percent of the fatalities occur off roadway
- Almost two thirds of the fatalities were associated with speeding as an operator contributing factor in the crash (In 1998, 41% of all motorcycle drivers involved in fatal crashes were speeding.)
- Collision with a fixed object is a significant factor in over half of the fatalities
- Braking and steering maneuvers possibly contribute for almost 25 percent of the fatalities
- Almost one third of the fatally injured operators did not have a proper license

To those of you out there who always feel the need to make some "oh that’s dangerous" comment about riding, look at the numbers… If a person on a motorcycle doesn't ride like a dumbass, they already are reducing the risk of getting in an accident by that amount.

So why you are driving home in your nice safe minivan or SUV, to sit and watch TV with the kids, drinking yourself to sleep, because you realized you are a middle aged corporate drone with no life, remembering the good old days before marriage and children, some of us will be cruising on past in the express lane, on our way out to live a little…