Friday, April 24, 2009

Look twice, Save a life!

This is more of a rant post than anything else... but bear with me ;) 

LOOK TWICE, SAVE A LIFE!... and *GET* *OFF* *THE* *CELL* *PHONES*.  Pot meet Kettle, right? Well, I've tried to quit talking on the cell while driving (as much), and I only email if I HAVE to while driving now... someone drifting into your lane (with you on a bike) wil quickly change your perspective on things I guess.

Couple of stats for you:

2003 US Statistics:
Total Number of Vehicle Related Fatalities : 42,643
Total Number of Firearm Related Fatalities: 29,296

On average, 102 people die on US Roadways each day. 

Vehicles cause more deaths than firearms (criminal use and accidental discharge) in the U.S. consistantly every single year. 

I don't think people grasp the concept of how dangerous driving can be; you're actually operating one of the most deadly inventions created in modern history (looking @ total deaths caused globally). It's a 1-ton piece of steel being hurled down the interstate at 70+ mph... operating something like this should require you're full attention constantly.  Instead, we talk on cell phones, put on makeup, mess with Navigation systems, dig through purses etc... which drastically reduces our focus on the road and other vehicles around us. Couple that with basiccharacteristics of a vehicle (blind spots, stability and speed)... and you've definitely have a potential for disaster.  Everyone, I think, assumes that since they've been operating a vehicle for such a long time that they're essentially invincible... they've made it this long, right?  I'm sure some of those 102 people who die each day thought that same thing. 

Get your focus on the road; the text / call / email can wait till you can pull over. This is a hard habit to get into doing but it's SO MUCH safer.

We all see people doing stupid stuff on the road... drifting in and out of their lanes, missing exits, crossing 5 lanes of traffic, cutting people off, riding bumpers, speeding; but your perspective changes when you go from a 1-ton steel cage to a 316lb fiberglass frame because you're a lot more vulnerable to other people's mistakes. Also, having a much smaller visual signature and profile, Motorcyclist have to deal with not being seen most of the time. The MSF course teaches you to always assume that you're invisible.. and 95% of the time that is true because car drivres typically don't check their blindspots when changing lanes / pulling into traffic. If motorists would simply follow the basic driving instructions and look prior to changing lanes, motorcyclists safety would increase dramatically.

All of this just comes from observations from riding for the past 2 months.. of all the vehicles that have either cut me off, changed lanes INTO my lane, or pulled out in front of me.. I would say 75% were on a cell phone at the time. 

Look twice, save a life


cindy glawson said...

Worried Momma!

cindy glawson said...

I reread this the day after your accident and am so glad you are not a stat.