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Look Out Behind You

Look Out Behind You

Fort Bliss, Texas

Author’s note: This true story you are about to read was written by a Soldier-rider. The events are retold to give insights into the many hazards riders face when they are on the road. The lessons will help us all become more experienced motorcycle riders.

The rider stopped his motorcycle to render honors to the flag in front of the 1st Armored Division Headquarters. The military police had halted all traffic, as the flag would be lowered in just a few seconds. Then, the unthinkable happened — an inattentive driver plowed into the rider at 40 mph.

The rider survived, but it took many months for him to recover from his injuries. Just about everyone agreed this accident wasn’t the rider’s fault and there was nothing he could have done differently. But we motorcyclists know better, don’t we?

Strictly speaking, the motorcyclist was not at fault. In the eyes of the law, the other motorist would be cited. Normally, this would also mean the motorist’s insurance would be responsible for medical bills and the repair or replacement of the rider’s motorcycle. However, not everyone operating a vehicle is insured, and medical bills may exceed the insurance coverage. Therefore, motorcyclists always have to take responsibility for their own safety.

When motorcyclists come to a stop on the roadway for whatever reason, they should be prepared to escape any situation that develops behind them. They must select escape paths and leave the bike in first gear with the clutch lever pulled while constantly observing what’s happening behind. When riders see a vehicle approaching, they should flash their brake lights a few times to get the driver’s attention. If the driver does not appear to notice, the motorcyclist can begin executing the escape plan.

Riders can use other tactics to survive on the street. For example, when pulling away from a stop, they often give the traffic around them a chance to shield them through the intersection in case someone decides to run the light.

What are your tactics? Make sure you share them with other riders. You might just help save a life. In the meantime, look out behind you.

  • 28 January 2024
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 181
  • Comments: 0
Categories: Off-DutyPMV-2