Motorcycle safety extends beyond bikers

By Corea Parks | 9/10/17 9:51pm

In the last three months, there have been six deaths surrounding Kent County alone due to motorcycle collisions. Aside from those six killed, there were two others who were fatally injured. This alarming pattern is enough to make anyone with a license cringe.

Are motorcycles dangerous? Well, the truth is that all motor vehicles are dangerous. Cars can be dangerous, trains can be dangerous, and we all know that airplanes have had their fair share of trials and tribulations as well. But what about motorcycles gives them the bad reputation they have become associated with?

I know so many parents, including my own, who have sworn to their grown-up children that if they ever went out and purchased a motorcycle, they’d never hear the end of it. It's as though they aren’t even looking at a bike—all they see is a deep, dark casket. 

I’m convinced it’s the pestering fact that there aren’t four doors protecting you while operating the bike. Also, let's face it, helmets only account for about five percent of your body mass coverage when you're ripped from the seat of a motorcycle.

I think it is pretty safe to say that motorcycles have such a bad rep because a high percentage of motorcycle accidents result in death. It’s very important, however, to take into consideration the others who have driven motorcycles without so much as a scratch to show.

My first and only time on a motorcycle was an experience of complete bliss. I remember feeling so "Hollywood" as my hair blew in the wind and I held the waist of the person driving. It was a close friend of mine who showed complete confidence in his ability to get from point A to point B safely. While the ride was enjoyable in its entirety, I remember feeling a rise in anxiety any time we were near cars that were also on the road.  

That’s just it: driving on the road is like a sport in my opinion. You play offense and you play defense, and just like in any sport, defense is what wins the game. When you are driving on the road, it's important not to focus solely on your driving and turns; you also have to be very aware of the cars around you. Just because you are making the turn correctly doesn’t mean the car across from you is, and you want to be able to avoid a collision by seeing their move before it is too late.

Of the eight motorcycle accidents that took place surrounding Kent County, four were caused by a car.

Early this week, a friend of mine posted on her social media that a young woman who had just been hired at her place of employment was on her way in for her first day of work and hit a motorcyclist while turning into the parking lot. She wasn’t from the area and likely was engaging with her GPS at the time of collision. The motorcyclist could not be resuscitated. 

What I’m trying to say here is that yes, motorcycles may seem like a scary concept with little-to-no protection, but our inability to focus on the road when driving due to distractions is equally—if not more—dangerous, than a motor vehicle with no doors.

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