There is an inherent danger to many of the activities we participate in every day. Most of us acknowledge but refuse to worry about most of these dangers, such as the risk of getting into a car accident. If we constantly worried about such risks, we would be largely unable to live productive lives outside our homes.
But for motorcyclists, the calculation of risk is different. Those who primarily ride motorcycles understand that the risks of death or significant injury are much higher than they are for individuals who drive in cars or trucks. Motorcycles offer less protection in the event of an accident, which means that motorcyclists must make smart decisions and ride defensively.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in California. While most riders take the necessary precautions to protect their own safety (wearing helmets, obeying traffic laws, etc.) they can't stay safe entirely on their own. It is up to drivers to pay more attention to motorcyclists and recognize that they have an equal right to the road.
Commenting on the need to share the road, an official from the California Office of Traffic Safety noted that “Californians increasingly get around by means other than cars and trucks. More are bicycling, walking, taking mass transit and motorcycling. That also means that everyone needs to be extra cautious and looking out for everyone else, no matter what their means of transportation is.”
If you are a motorcyclist, please do what you can to minimize your risk of an accident and to protect yourself in case an accident does occur.
If you exclusively drive a car or truck, please use this month as a time to pay more attention to the two-wheeled travelers on your commute. Simply making an effort to notice motorcyclists is a big step toward preventing accidents.
Source: Orange County Breeze, "Rising motorcycle fatalities and injuries bring safety tips from California Highway Patrol," May 6, 2015