By CHRIS WALKER
KENNESAW, Ga. — Motorcycle safety is essential to both new and experienced riders. A motorcycle offers the rider very little protection in the event of a crash, so it is crucial that riders know what to do if an accident occurs.
In most crashes the rider is ejected off the motorcycle upon impact. During a crash it is important for the rider to find the safest path of travel. The rider should avoid fixed obstacles such as cars, streetlights and other concrete structures to minimize bodily harm.
Marietta resident Jonathan Mosby can personally attest to the dangers of riding a motorcycle.
Three years ago, Mosby was involved in a motorcycle accident that put him in the hospital for a week and totaled his bike. The accident gave Mosby third degree burns on his legs that have resulted in permanent scars.
“It wasn’t up to me. I was doing everything right, following all the rules, and all it took was one person not paying attention to take me down,” Mosby said.
However, the crash has not stopped Mosby from riding motorcycles. He still loves the feeling of freedom that is associated with being on two wheels and rides often. However, he has not forgotten the dangers associated with two-wheel transportation.
“I am much more aware than I was before, more aware of other drivers and their actions,” Mosby said.
Situational awareness is a skill that all riders must develop in order to make split-second decisions.
Numerous schools around the Atlanta area offer motorcycle safety courses. They are usually inexpensive and can provide a plethora of quality information to new and experienced riders.
Sean Sanderson has been teaching motorcycle safety for six years and has ridden motorcycles for 10 years. During this time, he has seen many accidents happen.
It is important that motorists are aware of a motorcycles presence.
“A loud bike is a safe bike because the sound is usually the first thing that tells drivers a motorcycle is nearby,” Sanderson said.
There are countless distracted drivers on Georgia’s roadways and it’s essential for motorists and riders to be aware of each other. Sanderson developed a safety checklist to help students become safer riders.
- Make sure that helmets are Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard approved.
- Purchase a protective jacket that is within your budget, leather is more protective than textile jackets.
- Wear bright colors like yellows, reds, and oranges.
- It is crucial to know the mechanics and techniques of your motorcycle.
- Ever try to show off while riding a motorcycle.
- Ever think that you won’t be involved in a motorcycle accident.
- Do not disobey any of the posted traffic laws.
- Disrespect the road.
- Ever assume that a driver has seen you.
Despite all of the dangers associated with riding motorcycles, people still pursue the thrill and freedom of the ride. It is important to continue to educate cyclists and motorists on how to safely operate their vehicles.
Motorcycles are everywhere and it only takes one glance to save a life. A brief moment of diligence can prevent a lifetime of sorrow and regret.