May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. You may be noticing billboards advertising this and reminding you to look twice for motorcycles and share the road. Because of the high price of gas, automobile insurance and purchasing an automobile, more drivers have purchased a motorcycle to save on expenses. So, there are more motorcycles on the road. This, combined with distracted drivers, is a lethal combination. Statistics show that the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on our roads. But, with today being Memorial Day, it is likely that the combination of intoxicated motorcyclists and intoxicated automobile operators will provide disastrous results.
With road construction, lane closures, ramp closures and especially H.O.V. closures, I truly hope that people will refrain from drinking and driving and be extra cautious when riding near a motorcyclist. It is known that motorcyclists can ride on the H.O.V. lane without a passenger. The H.O.V. is, in fact, the safest place for them to ride, rather than on the freeway, around distracted or drunk drivers. But some of the major H.O.V.’s in this area are closed and under construction. And the ones that remain open are on freeways so riddled with traffic that automobile operators cross illegally across the double line or slip between the pvc posts to enter the H.O.V. to avoid traffic. This could be lethal to a motorcyclist if they are not seen.
Although May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, why not always practice caution when riding near a motorcyclist? In Texas, if you cut off a motorcyclist and they crash, you could ensue a $500 fine. I personally believe if the fine were more, people would really pay attention. And, if the crash results in serious bodily injury or death, the fine is upward of $5000 (plus you get the pants sued off of you).
So, look twice for motorcycles and share the road. Of course, we all know that there are also motorcyclists out there ‘hot-doggin’ and whipping in and out of traffic, popping wheelies and passing you at 120 miles per hour. Another reason for we drivers to really be paying attention. Perhaps we can’t always feel so responsible for those people who intentionally put their lives in danger. But there are still those out there that have purchased a motorcycle to save on their commute expenses. And remember, those people have a family. And some of them have wives and kids (oops…that would be in Utah…I meant a wife (singular) and kids.
Until next week…be safe.
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Look Twice For Motorcycles – Comedy Defensive Driving