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Look Twice for Motorcycles... 10 Things More Likely to Happen

Published by Idaho STAR Program on Sunday, August 31, 2014
We hear it all the time – Look Twice for Motorcycles…Share The Road…Look Twice – Save a Life…etc. It’s a good message and one that you can find all over the country. I am on board with motorist awareness – I think motorists (everyone on the roadway) should be aware of all other motorists (everyone else on the roadway) in order to prevent crashes, injuries, and fatalities. And this certainly includes the most vulnerable and hard to see road users – pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycle riders.

Having said all of that, there are a few inherent problems (or at least ‘challenges’) with pursuing motorist awareness the main effort to increase motorcycle safety.

  • I do not know of any data to suggest that billboards, pumptoppers, TV spots, radio commercials, etc. promoting awareness of motorcycles actually results in fewer crashes.
  • From a rider’s perspective, the behavior of the driver is one of those factors completely outside the rider’s control.

We all know there ARE skilled, attentive, and courteous drivers out there who do an outstanding job of sharing the road (I hope you are one of them!). The following is about the other drivers that we know are also out there. So, on a somewhat lighter note, here is my ‘Top 10 List’ of things I believe are more likely to happen than drivers always looking twice and seeing motorcycles:

#10. Idaho becoming a ‘Blue State’
#9.   Drivers using their turn signals before making a lane change
#8.   Your home renovation project being completed on time and on budget
#7.   Drivers putting their phone away and not checking it until they are safely parked
#6.   Gasoline prices dropping back to $2.00 per gallon
#5.   Drivers coming to a full stop at stop signs
#4.   The IRS contacting you to tell you they are sending you money
#3.   Drivers maintaining a 3-second following distance behind you
#2.   Your vision and hearing starting to improve after you turn 50
#1.   The next Snake River Canyon motorcycle jump being done on a Vespa

Will STAR continue to work towards motorcycle awareness? Absolutely!  However, that is not our only activity, and it certainly isn’t our main activity. Remember that you – the rider – are the one at risk; you – the rider – can’t control what other road users do.  

So what CAN you do? You can control how well you look ahead for hazards; you can control how much you learn about motorcycle handling dynamics and advanced skills; you can control what protective gear you wear, you can control how often you practice your emergency skills, and you can control whether or not you ride sober and unimpaired. You can’t control what the drivers do, but you CAN control your response to what the drivers do. Learn, practice, look well ahead, gear up, and take action to avoid or minimize those potential hazards before they become an emergency.

Ride well, Ride lots, Ride safe,



RICHARD STETZ commented on 02-Sep-2014 09:17 AM
Good point: it's up to us. Thanks for the reminder and for putting it in perspective.
Jeff Bradley commented on 20-Sep-2014 09:52 AM
Good points made Ax. I wonder how long before we see cell phone use while driving become outlawed in Idaho? commented on 02-Sep-2015 02:21 PM
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