May is Motorcycle Awareness Month
What do we need to be aware of?
May is recognized each year as Motorcycle Awareness Month. Typically, this means encouraging car drivers to “Look Twice for Motorcycles.” This remains as one of our goals, and the Motorcycle Awareness Rallies held throughout Idaho this weekend are geared to help with that (see sidebar for more info). In this article, however, I’d like to explore some other elements of ‘Motorcycle Awareness.’ These are things that we ALL need to be aware of (drivers AND riders):
We need to be AWARE that the riding season is here and more and more motorcycles are out on the roads.
• Not only is the 2013 riding season here, but the numbers are showing that sales and registrations are on the rise, so the overall ridership is increasing, too.
• As riders, we can do our part by telling our friends, family, and colleagues that we ride, and ask them to look twice for riders when they drive.
We need to be AWARE that motorcycle riders are more vulnerable to injury or death in a crash.
• I think we can ALL agree that ZERO crashes and ZERO deaths is the goal.
• I think we can also all agree that at this point in time, that number is NOT zero.
• If you have loved ones who ride, let them know that you care about the riding gear they wear – that you care about their health, wellness, and survival.
• If you ride, what do your loved ones want for you?
• As riders, we can do our part by asking and answering these questions for ourselves and for our own families.
We need to be AWARE that distracted driving leads to many crashes – and when a motorcycle is involved, the rider is usually hurt.
• As riders, we can do our part by being the example of NOT driving distracted. Show other drivers, show our kids, show our spouses that we are aware of the risk posed by distracted driving (or riding) and that we are doing our part by focusing on driving and focusing on the ride. We can set the example for sharing the road, for courtesy, and for helping other riders and drivers get home safely to their families.
We need to be AWARE that we do not ride alone.
• We all have families and loved ones to get home to – and those families are forever affected by a serious injury or death of the rider they love.
• Drivers and riders need to realize that every motorcycle rider on the road is a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, best friend, wife, or husband.
This is my wife Brenda and my 3-year old son Zane.
When I kiss them goodbye and get on my bike for a ride, I don’t really say goodbye – they come with me in spirit. When Brenda says ‘Be careful honey, see you when you get back’ or Zane says ‘Daddy will be home on Sunday!’ my heart skips a beat. I realize that Brenda needs her husband and Zane needs his Daddy. I can’t imagine life without them, and can’t imagine what life would be like for them without me.
• The reality is that if something were to happen to me, their lives change forever.
• As a rider, I can do my part by riding sober, scanning ahead, practicing my emergency skills, and always wearing my riding jacket, pants, boots, gloves, and helmet.
• If you are a rider, who do you have in your life that would be forever affected if you were hurt or killed?
• As a rider, what will you do as your part to help prevent that?
So, when we promote Motorcycle Awareness, there is a LOT to it. But the bottom line is you and me and ALL riders getting home safely to our family and loved ones.
Let’s make 2013 the best year on record for motorcycle safety – let’s all do our part and encourage those we share the road with to do their part, too.
Be safe, be responsible, and spread the word for motorcycle awareness.
Ride safe, Ride lots,