More riding, more wrecks

With the beautiful weather, bikers are hitting the road in increasing numbers. Unfortunately, the number of biker related accidents is also going up. A man on a motorcycle was killed in Texarkana Monday. This is the second motorcycle accident in a seven day period.
Early reports indicate that the driver of a 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander stopped at a stop sign, but didn’t see the biker and pulled out in front of him. The biker wasn’t wearing a helmet. It is believed he was killed instantly.

Staff photo by Megumi Rooze Texas-side police officers investigate the scene where a collision killed a Texarkana man Monday at Pine and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Staff photo by Megumi Rooze Texas-side police officers investigate the scene where a collision killed a
Texarkana man Monday at Pine and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

There is a lot of venting on several forums I belong to about the carnage caused by careless car drivers. There seems to be the perception among some bikers that “cagers,” as drivers of cars and trucks are called, are out to get us. That somehow the life and safety of a motorcyclist is not as important to them as that of other drivers.
As both a biker and a cager, I know how hard it is to see motorcycles. The internet is full of studies about how physics and human perception make it more difficult to spot something the size of a motorcycle moving at speed. If science doesn’t prove it to you, then statistics should.
If you’re going to ride a motorcycle you must take responsibility for your own safety. You need to understand and believe that you are invisible. Right of way and right or wrong simply do not enter into it. Every motorcycle will lose every argument with even the smallest car. The most effective thing a biker can do for safety is wear a helmet. I’m frequently dismayed at the number of bikers who insist that “Loud pipes save lives,” while turning their noses up a helmets. Neither statistics nor studies indicate that loud pipes contribute to safety while countless studies, statistics, and common sense tell us that helmets do.

— Guy Wheatley

6 Responses

  1. Bill Ferguson Says:

    HEY GUY,IN THE MAY 19TH ARTICAL YOU SAID MOTORCYCLES ARE INVISABLE.THAT’S PRETTY MUCH TRUE,IN THE TYPE OF WORK THAT I DO I’S BEEN SAID THAT IF YOU WANT SOMETHING TO DISAPEAR,PAINT IT BLACK!AS WE KNOW THERE ARE MANY WHO LOVE BLACK AND CHROME TOGETHER.MOST OF US LIKE BLACK CHAPS N BLACK LEATHER JACKETS, BLACK BAGS ETC.TO OFFSET THIS HANDICAP I WOULD SUGGEST THAT WE ALL RIDE WITH YOUR HIGH BEAM ON EXCEPT WHEN MEETING ANOTHER VECLICAL AT NIGHT.DURING DAY LIGHT HOURS YOUR LOW BEAM IS NEXT TO WORTHLESS.JUST A THOUGHT,BILL

  2. zx12r kawasaki Says:

    Well, where do I start… First of, you have only been riding for three years, and I don’t think you’re experienced enough to tell others how to be safe. I have been riding, starting with my mopad at age 12, for thirty years. Over the years I have learened the best way to stay safe is to be seen and heard at all times. I have a sportbike and I feel more confortable with my aftermarket pipe because cars hear me coming. When I can see the other drivers eyes on me, thats good. Lights are also great because at night it gives that visual as well. I do not where a helmet most of the time, simply because I feel that it blocks alot of my hearing and sight. I have been riding so long that I look ahead at what could happen and I watch others and I know whether someone sees me or not. The best way to stay safe while on your bike is to assume at all times that no one sees you and to avoid any situation that will put you in harms way. For instance, don’t stop on a road to turn. If you can’t turn left without coming to a complete stop, go past your turn and come back to it. There are a lot of things you learn through years of experience.. When you have years under your belt than you can preach about safty.

  3. Joe Regan Says:

    Say loud pipes does ensure people know you are there.. So what?

    I have been “text-ended” by cell phone drivers while in my car when people knew I was there. (Most likely because they were so distracted with texting on their i-berry, they couldnt look and see that my car was stopped at a red light…)

    If a person is so distracted, that they don’t have a clue if a car is moving or not at an intersection, are they really going to notice a bike stopped at a red light, (with loud pipes), any better?

    Wear the helmet, at least for your family’s sake.

  4. Mark Turner Says:

    A few points. A person may have only been riding for 3 years, but they may have ridden 20,000 miles each year and covered more mileage and circumstances than a 30 year veteran rider. Time in saddle doesnt equate to mileage and experience. Loud pipes. Theres a contentious subject. At 100 degrees, with ac going full blast, radio on and windows up, Loud pipes are pretty hard to hear. And if the bike is riding toward the cage, the pipes are not heard at all. They are effective in a lot of situations, but not all. Full face helmets do block some peripheral vision and sound too. Wind noise with an open face helmet blocks out more noise than my full face helmet does, so to me, a full face allows me to hear better than no helmet or open face. At least here in Texas and Arkansas, its YOUR choice. I suggest one of the best things people can do is take an MSF course. Even having ridden for 60k or more miles, I found it to be a good experience and have some good practices for staying safer.

  5. Angie Says:

    The picture listed above is my boyfriends bike! Heath Greene was killed May 18th. Reading your article and all the comments really makes me sick!

    1. Lets get this straigt because I am sick & tired of hearing it “He wasn’t wearing a helmet” In Heath’s accident (which was not his fault) he was not wearing a helmet true but get your facts straight before you go running your mouth about him not being responsible and not wearing a helmet….His neck was broken upon impact!!!! He was killed instantly and per the doctor at the ER at Wadley if Heath had a helmet on his neck still would have been broken and he still would have died.

    2. All bike wrecks are not the bikers fault because he wasn’t thinking I’m invisible!!!! Heath was one of the safest riders I know he payed attention to all his surrounding!

    Angie Wooten
    In Loving Memory of
    “Heath Greene”
    02/02/1978 – 05-18-2009
    3. Just to ask the question because I don’t know the answer….How does someone stop at a stop sign cross the intersection and hit a biker and kill him because she was trying to beat the cars behind him because she was running late to pick up her child at daycare. The girl that “KILLED HEATH” was given a citation for failure to yield!!! My question is how do you get a citation for failure to yield at a stop sign?

    4. Drivers in cages need to start taking some responsiblity for their own actions and “STOP” blaming bikers when they hit them. Why are bikers blamed??? Because they are suppose to think they are invisible!!!! No they are blamed because they are a biker, tattooed, or wearing an MC patch and everyone assumes the biker is drunk or on drugs!

  6. Brad Says:

    Listen folks, let’s learn from the veterans. The helemt argument has been around for a long time. I personally choose to not wear a helmet and this is why. They are designed to protect the wearer in accidents up to 30 mph in typical accidents. I do most of my riding on the highways, (+50mph) not as a poser around town and neighborhoods. Bell has introduced a new and improved helmet, this is breakthrough technology and it protects the wearer in an accident up to 32 mph. Yes, 2 mph more than before. There is no such thing as a DOT approved helmet. They refuse to accept any liability by “approving” of any helmet. That sticker only means it is not a novelty helmet and has padding. ANY person that chooses to ride needs to do two things, take the Safe Riders Course, MSF, STARS, Harley-Davidson has a great one. The other thing we need to understand is that any time you kick your leg over that saddle, you accept the possibility that you may not come home in the same condition you started your ride. So to wear a helmet for “the family” is an uneducated statement. In accidents over 32mph, the helmet becomes a detriment and can cause injuries. Now get out on the highway, with or without your helmet and enjoy the wind. Nothing wrong with loud pipes. They do get peoples attention. Everytime? No, but more than quiet pipes do.
    Defensive driving includes knowing your escape route in every event. Obstacles in your path, approaching intersections and assuming that cager will not completely stop or that they will pull out in front of you. This is called defensive driving, which you should always do when the rubber is rolling. Don’t be fooled by reports about wearing or not wearing helmets. The only statistic about them saving lives is at SLOW speeds, 30mph and less. I have had a helmet save my life, at a lower speed, and I have gone down at 55mph without a helmet and I am still here. I have lost friends at +30mph and wearing a helmet. It is all circumstantial. When the facts are not proven, give the citizens the benefit of a doubt to make their own choice. This country is all about freedom and freedom of choice. The government has already taken other freedoms from us, let’s not let them take more.

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