Combat Aggressive Driving Motorcycle Safety
by Chris Huffman, past President of the American Institute for Public Safety
don’t tug on superman’s cape,
riding season is upon us and everyone wants to get out in the fresh
air and ride down the road feeling the freedom and exhilaration of
riding their bike.
within FORSCOM we already have lost 10 soldiers due to motorcycle
fatalities and 7 have suffered severe injuries since the beginning
of the fiscal year. It is important to notice there have been more
deaths than injuries when it comes to accidents with motorcycles.
Unlike auto crashes where you are better protected with tons of
sheet metal surrounding you, when you are on a motorcycle there is
very little protection and the consequences of a collision are
always much more severe. The death rate for motorcycle riders is 9
times higher than persons riding in a car.
Over the past few
years several states have actually repealed mandatory helmet laws
regarding motorcycles. This trend is disturbing for several reasons.
First it creates the impression it is “safe” to operate a
motorcycle without a helmet. Nothing could be further from the
truth. It is also a paradox to what is happening legislatively with
seat belt laws. More and more states are passing mandatory seat belt
laws and at the same time repealing helmet laws. One of the reasons
given for repealing helmet laws has to do with “freedom of
choice”. This flies in the face of logic when compared to all the
good work at increasing seatbelt usage and saving lives. The main
reason why the helmet law may change is usually due to a highly paid
lobbyist representing a special interest group. As a matter of fact,
Bottom line is,
why increase the risk of an already high-risk recreational activity
by making the choice to not wear a helmet? As we all know, there is
positive risk taking and negative risk taking. The next time you
ride your bike, whether the law mandates it or not, make the CHOICE
to “ALWAYS WEAR YOUR HELMET!”
Army Regulations mandate that soldiers wear a helmet whether
on or off the installation, regardless of state laws.
QUICK TIPS FOR MOTORCYCLE SAFETY
How can you have
the best of both worlds? Enjoy the freedom and excitement of riding
while reducing the risk of injury or death? COMMON SENSE goes a long
way. Treat the bike (potential killing machine) with respect and
adhere to the following:
(greater than .08) rates for fatal motorcycle accidents is 45%. In
addition, 62% killed in week-end night, single vehicle crashes, were
intoxicated. Helmet usage for intoxicated motorcyclists are lower
than for those who are sober. Impaired riders are more likely to be
speeding than those not drinking. Impaired decision making contains
fatal flaws. MAKE THE CHOICE, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.
riders feel a brotherhood with other riders. Let’s all pull
together and use our heads (emotionally intelligent decision making)
to reduce risks and support safe and supportive driving habits.
to Ride and Ride to Live. Keep alive and alert while enjoying the
Chris Huffman has been a motorcycle owner and rider for many years.