About 10 years ago, I made a conscious decision to have my motorcycle parked in the late evening. This was not a set rule but was more of a guideline that I endeavored to keep. The reason for this guideline was my belief that the biggest external threat that I had while riding was from drunk drivers. My logic was that most people drive drunk latter in the evening and if I could avoid the peak drunk driving hours then I would dramatically reduce my risk while riding on two wheels (I have no evidence to back up my logic but it seemed rationale to me). Now a days, drunk drivers are the least of my concerns. More and more, distracted drivers are the culprits that I fear while riding. These drivers are on the road 24/7/365. They do not rest and continually plague our roadways with danger. An average text message takes a drivers eyes from the roadway for an average 4.6 seconds which at 55 mph is the length of entire football field. Just the simple task of reaching for a cell phone or dialing increases the risk of getting into a crash by three times. Think of these facts. One fourth of all teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. I did not make up these numbers, I got them off of www.distraction.gov. It gets worst; twenty percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit they have extended text conversations while driving. That number has anxiety written all over it. Individuals having text conversations while driving should just go ahead and drive while smoking crack blind folded. It’s just that dangerous.
We as motorcyclist have more to fear by distracted drivers then most. Hopefully this fear will never lead us away from doing what we care so much about. If there is a threat against our common interest as motorcyclist then should we not do something about it? Are there any motorcycle groups out there with a mission to stop distracted driving? Having a group of motorcyclist band together with the sole purpose to stopping Distracted Drivers seems like a good idea.
Just remember we can all do our own individual part to make our roads a safer place to ride. Talk to your kids, friends, spouse and co-workers about the safety hazards of texting and driving. Speak up against careless acts and remember to leave your phone alone while driving. You just may save a life.