“Motorcycling…is not of itself, inherently dangerous. Riding a motorcycle is however, extremely unforgiving of inattention, ignorance, incompetence or stupidity.”
Not sure who came up with the above quote and observation but I gotta tell yas…after 45 years of motorcycle riding experience, I could not of said it better myself. Unfortunately, we must add an additional warning to this observation today. No matter how good and safe a rider you are, there’s a distracted driver out there who could snuff you out. Read on…
Nearly 80% of crashes believed to be caused by distracted drivers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the accident event. Primary causes of driver inattention are distracting activities such as cell phone use and drowsiness.” – Source: American Motorcyclist Association
Distracted drivers are everywhere.
Be extra careful when riding your motorcycle. Distracted drivers are everywhere. Fact is, this dangerous practice seems to be getting worse every year.
Government bureaucrats have been slow to act on prevention. $161 fine for distracted driving infractions is a joke in California for example.
California’s, “It’s not worth it”, campaign is actually not worth it from all I’ve seen as there appears to be little change to cell phone use while driving. Yes, there are all kinds of feel good press releases from Sacramento…I read them but let’s be honest…one cannot get on any highway today without seeing driver cell phone use in action.
Want to know more about distracted driving legislation in your state? Follow the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) for updates. Everyone at the NCSL talks about distracted driving being a major traffic safety issue but what are they really doing about it?
Where’s Goofy Flo and Gecko The Reptilian Mascot regarding this important issue?
Surprisingly, the automobile insurance industry hasn’t done all that much beyond providing basic tips to policyholders. Some have gone all out to create “Don’t Drive Distracted” contests for teenagers. Other insurers provide informative “Cell Phone Safety Tips“.
Where’s the multi-million dollar advertising campaigns talking about doubling auto insurance premiums for those who get caught driving while distracted? Could Flo be secretly supporting America’s conversion to driverless cars so that drivers can sit back and text away?
Or, how about working to legislate an industry wide insurance contract clause that says that any claim payment due as a result of an at-fault distracted driving crash will be shared 50/50 by the policyholding driver and the insurance company? Think this would change driver behavior?
Note to employers…have you heard of “vicarious responsibility”?
Under the doctrine of vicarious responsibility, employers may be held legally accountable for the negligent acts of employees committed in the course of employment. Employers may also be found negligent if they fail to put in place a policy for the safe use of cellphones. Yes, your company could be held liable for accidents caused by your employees while driving and conducting work-related conversations on cellphones, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
The Bottom Line
Distracted drivers are unable to focus their full attention on the road. As noted earlier, they are the leading cause of most crashes per the NHTSA. They are a menace to themselves, their passengers, other drivers and killers of motorcyclists.
Only you can prevent motorcycle accidents so look out for the distracted driver. He/she has become a total threat to our beloved sport of motorcycling.
Me, I gave up riding motorcycles during commute hours years ago as I witnessed the driving while distracted epidemic take hold. The riding risk-to-reward ratio during commute times is simply not “worth it” to me.
Ride Safe Out There.
P.S. Please consider taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider course that is appropriate for your riding skill level. Whether beginner or experienced, the Foundation has a rider safety course for you.
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