As we all know, or at least motorcyclists, May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. To get the message across, I have had to post this extremely difficult photo to look at. But unfortunately, this is the harsh reality for bikers.
First of all, my deepest respect and condolences for all the friends, family, and loved ones of the motorcyclist in this picture. I mean no disrespect by posting this, just wish to create awareness.
The other day I posted a photo (see below) on social media and asked what the rider on the scooter was doing wrong. Most replied correctly and that was that his lane position was wrong. First of all, he was too close to the SUV in front of him, and that is when I took the picture, the SUV moved up a few feet. Second of all, he had no out! If a car behind him doesn’t brake on time, he would have nowhere to go. Add to that, he was on a scooter that would not have enough juice to get him out of the way fast if he hit the throttle. A simple trick is simply position yourself in the lane where you can see the side mirrors of the car in front of you. Also, look to see which side has the largest gap in- between cars and that is the side to slide over to.
I know nothing about the facts of this case. I don’t know nor care whether the motorcycle rider was right or wrong. I just know we lost another member of the motorcycle community. This is why motorcyclists advocate “lane splitting” and “filtering.”
Unfortunately, we have to continue to play this game that when we ride, we pretend we are invisible. Learn from this photo. Learn lane positioning. Learn to stay far back enough from the car in front of you. Learn to keep it in gear until the car behind you reaches a full stop and the car behind that car as well. Learn to control traffic by applying your brakes early. If you are moving fast and not hitting the brakes even though you know the light is red, if the driver behind you is distracted, he/she may think the light is green and keep going until you hit your brakes hard and by then, it is too late.
One simple way to train yourself is next time you are driving, start driving like you were on a motorcycle. Create muscle memory until it becomes second nature to you.
Be safe and yes, watch out for bikes, but more importantly- watch out for yourselves!
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