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.


 
 

 

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays!

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. — In our increasingly secular world, there is a growing misunderstanding that it is safer to say “Happy Holidays” during the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza season, than to name the specific holiday which you or most other people celebrate. I am always drawn to explore these interesting dilemmas. I once read a...
 
 
Richardson_pict

Down and out at Dyess: Air Force Assistance Fund to the rescue

It was scary, leaving home and joining an organization such as the United States Air Force. The people, job, and location were all brand new. When I joined the military, I came from a less than honorable home life.  I come fro...
 
 

Asking for help is sign of strength not weakness

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Growing up I was a big fan of Muhammad Ali. He was the world heavyweight boxing champion and unashamedly referred to himself as “The Greatest.” I vividly remember a reporter asking Ali, “When did you know that you were ‘The Greatest?’” Before Ali could answer, the reporter offered, “Perhaps it was...
 

 

“Little people like you make Christmas better”

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — “It’s little people that make the difference. Little people like you.” The fictional character Frank Shirley pitched his “little people” Christmas message to Clark Griswold in the 1989 movie “Christmas Vacation.” Although demeaning in a comical way, the little people reference is seen over and over in classic Christmas stories. Litt...
 
 

Thanksgiving and our Native Americans

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — On the fourth Thursday of every November, we as Americans celebrate the national holiday Thanksgiving. This day focuses on honoring the early settlers, and their harvest feast, which we know to be the “First Thanksgiving.” However, long before settlers came to the United States’ East Coast, the area was inhabited by...
 
 

Keep safety in mind when cooking Thanksgiving feasts

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries.  Every year hundreds of Americans die, thousands more are injured and roughly $500 million...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin