Commentary

July 10, 2014

Motorcycle Safety: Watch out

Commentary by Staff Sgt. Steve Stanley 
Headquarters Air Combat Command Public Affairs 

Langley AFB, Va. — They are sentences that have been repeated by thousands, “I lost someone in a motorcycle accident” or even “I was hurt in a motorcycle accident”.

In 2012 alone, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the U.S. with an additional 93,000 injured.

Death is the ultimate price to pay for anything, and the odds of someone paying that price, or being seriously injured, increase considerably while riding a motorcycle as opposed to being in a car.

In fact, in 2012 motorcyclists were more than 26 times likely to die in motor vehicle traffic crashes than passenger car occupants and 5 times more likely to be injured per vehicle mile according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A study conducted by the University of Southern California found that the failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the dominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle did not see the motorcycle before the collision or did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision.

Everyone on the road should look twice and realize that it is shared by motorcycles as well. Motorcyclists have to realize that even if a driver double-takes, they may still be hard to see.

Not paying enough attention while driving can have ripple effects and they can be quite traumatic. It’s not just the motorcyclists and their families who are affected, but also the person who hits the motorcyclists. They may have to live with the fact that they’ve changed these people’s life too, for a careless mistake.

When you are riding in a car you are surrounded by steel, air bags, fiber glass and other instruments such as seatbelts to protect you in case of an accident.

In addition to those safety features, most vehicles are designed to absorb the impact of a crash instead of the brunt of it bearing entirely down on the passengers.

When you crash on a motorcycle there are many things that can happen, all of them are bad. Unlike when riding in a car you aren’t strapped in by a seat belt and surrounded by a makeshift roll cage, instead you are almost always immediately ejected from the seat or worse.

While there will always be hazards associated with riding motorcycles; training, experience and safe riding practices will lower the possibility of a serious accident taking place.

Having a little experience under your belt before riding a motorcycle isn’t just a good idea, it’s in the AFI. According to AFI 91-207, all military personnel who operate a motorcycle on a roadway any time, on or off-duty and on or off military installations and all Air Force civilian personnel while in a duty status on official business, who operate a motorcycle on a roadway, and all operators of a government owned motorcycle, are required to attend and complete an approved motorcycle rider education course.

All of us can share the road and do it safely as long as long as we concur with traffic laws, keep fully mindful of each other, keep our eyes open and use common sense while operating any type of vehicle.

 

Some main tips to remember are:

• Always wear a DOT-approved helmet.

• Never ride your motorcycle after drinking.

• Don’t let friends ride impaired. Take their keys away.

• Wear protective clothing that provides some level of injury protection.

• Avoid tailgating.

• Maintain a safe speed and exercise caution when traveling over slippery surfaces or gravel.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts)

Arizona Airmen memorialize fallen Iraqi fighter pilot

Members of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing honored the life and memory of Iraqi Air Force Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sideeq Hasan during a memorial service here July 7. Hasan died June 24 after his F-16 Fighting Fa...
 
 

Deployed A-10s take to the skies

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) An aircraft maintainer assigned to the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron inspects the oil levels of an A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft engine during a theater security package deployment to Lask Air Base, Poland, July 13. The U.S. and Polish air forces will conduct training aimed at...
 
 

Airmen leverage TFI concept

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Thirty-eight service members, including individuals from the 944th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal section, participated in a Battlefield Forensics training course here at the end of June. Together, Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Hunter, 944th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD program manager and Joshua Nason, General Dynamics Information Technology ...
 

 

Celebration and education; Equal Opportunity

  In 1948, Ester Blake became the first enlisted female in the U.S. Air Force, pictures were still black and white, and families gathered around radios for the evening news. Since then, the U.S. Air Force has gone through many changes. The Davis-Monthan Equal Opportunity office specializes in making sure that everyone is treated equally...
 
 
DoD

Final rule puts more teeth into Military Lending Act

  WASHINGTON – The Defense Department today closed loopholes to protect U.S. men and women in uniform from predatory lending practices, President Barack Obama said this morning at the 116th Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The heightened level of financial and consumer-rights protection against unscrupulous practices, called the final rule of...
 
 

AF continues to work with DOD, OPM on cybersecurity incident

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force maintains its commitment to protect personal information from cyber threats by continuing efforts with the Defense Department and the Office of Personnel Management to assist those impacted by the recent cyber incident involving federal background investigation data. OPM and an interagency response team, including investigators from the FBI and...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>