Thursday, May 3, 2018

Motorcycle Awareness Month

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month and today we are taking a trip back in time to a blog written in 2010 by Phyllis Marotta, who works in our Traffic Safety Office.

It's May...and that means Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month! It's been so cool & rainy around Topeka until this past weekend that I haven't seen as many bikers out as usual. However, with warmer temps the past few days, I saw lots of them hitting the roads.

Unfortunately, "hitting the roads" can mean something much more tragic to motorcyclists than the phrase means to the rest of the motoring public. This past month, I've had two acquaintances involved in crashes. Thankfully, neither of them was seriously injured, but both crashes served as a reminder to me of how precious life is...and how quickly a relaxing ride on a sunny day COULD have turned tragic.

The first of the crashes involved a good friend, an experienced rider who was wearing his helmet, leather jacket, jeans & boots. He pulled out in front of a pickup that had just turned left. In this case, my friend made the error of not looking twice before pulling out. Neither vehicle was going very fast, but the pickup hit the bike in the saddle bag area, pitching the bags, the seat, and my friend to the pavement. Thankfully, the helmet served its purpose - although the bill is now crumpled, my friend's forehead was not! And, although he is still pretty stiff & sore, he had no broken bones or road rash from hitting the pavement, thanks to the protective clothing.

The second crash happened just last Friday, involving a 28-year-old who graduated high school with my son.  In this crash, a car pulled out from a stop sign on a busy highway without yielding to the motorcyclist.  Although I don't have all the details from that crash, I have heard that the young man hit the car, flew off the bike, and after taking a bounce on the pavement, was able to run to the ditch to avoid oncoming traffic.  Again, thankfully, this young rider's injuries were not severe.

Both of these incidents could have been avoided altogether if someone had taken that second look before pulling out.  Please...look twice, save a life! 

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