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Imagine You Are on a Motorcycle

Imagine You Are on a Motorcycle

JOSH BLUNDELL
Installation Safety Office
White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico

Have you ever been in a situation where you weren’t paying attention to the road or anything else going on around you? For whatever reason — maybe you were on a familiar route or distracted by something inside your vehicle — most of us have displayed some amount of inattention on the roadway. Unfortunately, in my case, it resulted in me having to pay to replace the bumper on a Mustang and the hood on my vehicle.

It was my first day of college, and I was driving to my class. Traffic was heavy and there were a lot of people walking on the sidewalks — most noticeably, college girls. Yes, I was distracted and didn’t notice the Mustang ahead of me had stopped. It was an expensive lesson learned.

While the cause of the distraction may vary, I’d guess most of us either have an accident or close-call story we could share. So, what’s the solution to distracted driving? I truly believe we could solve a lot of our problems by always driving our vehicles like we’re riding a motorcycle. Some of you are probably asking, “What does that even mean?” Well, let me tell you.

When I turned 21, I bought a Honda CBR600RR. Immediately afterward, I registered for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic RiderCourse at Fort Bliss, Texas. This course provided me with the tools I needed to stay safe on the road. After riding for a few months, however, I realized that while I could be doing everything right, I could still be taken out by an inattentive motorist. It seems a lot of drivers just don’t seem to notice the motorcyclists with whom they share the road. Therefore, it’s up to us, the riders, to be extra vigilant at all times.

If you’ve never ridden on a motorcycle before, you’ll need to use your imagination to see my point — but give this a try. Next time you are behind the wheel of your vehicle, try to imagine that the doors, roof, floorboard and framework have been removed. Also pretend you have no seat belt to protect you. Did your awareness of everything around you spike about 100 percent? If not, you would probably be dead if you really were on a motorcycle! I’m sure this might be difficult for some of you. But if you could only try to do what I am suggesting, then just maybe you will be ready for that potential hazard — and potential accident — that isn’t easily recognized.

As a motorcycle rider, I’ve had my share of close calls. There’ve been a couple times when people have come into my lane just as I am trying to pass their vehicle. When those close calls happened, it shot fear through me and got my heart pounding. Those were near misses, and I treat them all as teachable moments.

While I no longer own a motorcycle (I sold it to help pay off my student loans), I’m thankful for the skills I picked up as a rider. I believe it truly made me a better driver. Every time I get behind the wheel of my vehicle, it’s like I am back on my CBR. I’m constantly aware of everything happening around me. You should give it a try too. You might be surprised just how much safer you are on the road.

  • 18 February 2024
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 145
  • Comments: 0
Categories: Off-DutyPMV-4PMV-2
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