Please Be Aware
PLEASE BE AWARE
By: Reine Knobbe
May is motorcycle awareness month. I love to see all the signs out in yards, bumper stickers and on Facebook reminding others to “Look Twice” and “Watch out for Motorcycles”. That is great and important, however, we must also take our riding as seriously as we want those we share the road with to.
Susan Lockhart of F.O.R.R. 25 (Freedom of Road Riders) recently posted the following on their Facebook page and I have her permission to share: “data from 2012 – 2014: Motorcycles represented two percent of the registered vehicles in Missouri but were involved in 12 percent of all fatal traffic crashes during the last three years. An area of particular concern is the number of unlicensed and improperly licensed motorcycle operators involved in crashes. Between 2012 and 2014, 38 percent of the motorcycle involved fatalities involved an unlicensed or improperly licensed motorcycle operator. I’m not sure what we can do anything about the license matter but we can all be a bit more careful and watch out for each other. yes?” Susan has shared other statistics with me that I won’t bore you with, however it is worth mentioning that a high percentage of motorcycle related accidents don’t even involve other vehicles.
Let’s each make a commitment this riding season to think safety first! Remember T-Clock every time before you ride by checking the following:
T = Tires & Wheels – condition, air pressure, spokes, cast, rims, bearings, seals
C = Controls – levers, cables, hoses, throttle
L = Lights – battery, lenses, reflectors, wiring, head lamp
O = Oil – levels, leaks
C = Chassis – frame , suspension, chain/belt, fasteners
K = Kickstand – center stand, side stand
Don’t ride beyond your abilities. It is better to get to a destination last than not at all. When riding in a group experienced riders have inexperienced riders in the middle. Ride staggered. We also have to look twice and share the road. Remember we are hard to see, so use your high beam headlight during the day. Use your signals. Ride smart. Make sure your ride is well maintained. Go to that riders education course. Experienced riders take the riders education course designed for you. We all develop bad habits and taking the course every year or two will sharpen your skills.
Let’s take responsibility for how we ride. It is okay to make sure this month that four wheeled vehicles are reminded that we are out in force with riding season well underway, but let us also be smart and safe on the road.