“Motorcycles Are Everywhere” a common slogan boasted across bumper stickers and lawn signs throughout the surrounding area. The message was created in 1982 by former Cambridge resident Bob Doiron, a founder of the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association. After retirement he passed along the idea to a motorcycle activist in Amesbury, MA by the name of Paul Cote. After receiving grants from the Plymouth Rock Assurance in 2007-2008, Cote was able to create the very signs urging caution for motorcycles you now see today. These signs and stickers were created in hopes of bringing awareness to the thousands of motorcyclists who take to the streets during the warmer weathered months; motorcyclists who face a great deal of danger from other vehicles driving along the same roads.
In the spring and summer months, many people across the country remove the tarps from their motorcycles and bring them up to driving condition before embarking on their travels. Most of them understand that they are at a greater risk of injury than other drivers due to the nature of their vehicle. Riding a motorcycle leaves you more exposed than driving in a car would, and other drivers may be less aware of you entering their surroundings than they would be of another car driving nearby. Extra safety precautions are needed in order to protect the well-being of those driving the motorcycle and all others who share the streets with them. Double check your blind spots, check the sightlines in your mirrors, make sure the pathways are clear before you switch lanes or take a turn. All it takes is one instant of not paying full attention for a deadly accident to occur.
As unfortunate circumstances have proven time and time again in the past, motorcycle accidents happen at an alarming rate. Just recently, 27 year old Darius Theriault of Framingham and the passenger on his bike, 22 year old Victoria Tucker of Woburn, were both killed when Theriault’s motorcycle collided with the back of a car. While investigators are still looking into the circumstances surrounding the accident, this unfortunate occurrence is just one of many examples of the dangers motorcyclists face every day.
In the same tune of the “Motorcycles Are Everywhere” slogan, there has also been a widely heard phrase going about urging fellow drivers to “Look Twice, Save a Life!” The creators of this particular slogan also feel it’s important to project the idea that motorcyclists themselves need to take responsibility for their safety and visibility when out driving. Motorcyclists are urged to be aware of the blind spots found on other vehicles—and to stay out of them. And they are also cautioned to remain clearly visible to other drivers at all times. Being alert and aware of your surroundings could also play a huge difference when you are out driving a motorcycle as well. The road is shared by everyone, and it is the responsibility of everyone to ensure optimum safety and driving conditions for all.
In hopes of avoiding further accidents in the future, The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has provided a list of conditions in which an accident with a motorcycle would be more likely to transpire. When:
- You are making a left turn in front of a rider.
- A motorcyclist is riding in your blind spot.
- There are hazardous road conditions. Potholes, wet leaves, railroad tracks, and other obstructions may force a motorcyclist to take an action you don’t expect.
- You have an obstructed line of sight. Sport utility vehicles, delivery vans, and large trucks may block motorcyclists from your view.
Whether you are driving a motorcycle, are a passenger on a motorcycle, or are simply just sharing the road with motorcyclists, caution is always the best line of defense. Being aware of the fact that these warmer days bring out riders who want to enjoy the open road is the first step toward avoiding possible accidents. Proactively exercising caution and “looking twice to save a life” are sustainable building blocks all drivers should begin using in order to make the streets a safer place for all.
*Further information regarding the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association, the work that Paul Cote does, and the list provided by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles can be found in the original article posted here: http://www.boston.com/cars/newsandreviews/overdrive/2010/04/motorcycles_are_everywhere_but.html