Warmer Weather Means More Motorcyclists – Let’s Keep Them Safe
The first day of Spring is right around the corner (March 20th this year), but temperatures have already been mild and spring-like and trees are already blossoming.
Pleasant weather brings out the riders- already I've seen many people taking their bikes out. And while I respect their love for motorcycle riding I get so nervous for them, especially riding in Lubbock. I've already had three friends die on motorcycles, I'm not looking forward to losing another.
There are some things car drive avoid deadly crashes with bikes, according to Rideapart.com:
The light is green and you've been waiting for your shot to turn for some time. You look and no cars are coming so you gun it- and hit a bike. That happened to a friend of mine, and he didn't survive. It's very easy to not "scan" a bike coming- we are looking for cars. It's also very easy to misjudge how fast a bike is coming- always assume its coming in faster than you think. It's better to wait and let the bike, who has right of way, go ahead. So what if you have to wait for a protected turn? Your life isn't on the line, but theirs is.
2. Opening your door when you are parked on a busy street.
Usually this isn't such a big issue in Lubbock on major streets (there are a couple places like Avenue Q) but if you park in a neighborhood with narrow streets it could come up. Just take a quick glance before you open your door if you are parked on a narrow residential street. It might save your door and your arm from a car, too.
3. Give bikes plenty of space to stop, especially in areas where they might need to brake suddenly.
Remember that a "fender-bender" can kill a cyclist. Give them plenty of space so both of you can stop without you running them over. Especially in places where they might need to stop suddenly like around Tech or the Depot on a week night (we all seen pedestrians just wander out into the road during these times)
4. Check your blind spot with you switch lanes.
A good cyclist knows better than to be in your blind spot; however, a simple mistake or a split second of getting stuck there shouldn't cost them their life. Check your mirror then take a quick glace before you move over. You should be doing that anyway.
5. WATCH FOR CYCLISTS
Really everything goes back to this. Just watch out for them and give them space to move. It's not hard, just do it.
And of course- don't drink and drive. Don't do it for any reason, but know that if you hit a cyclist you will probably kill them. Intoxication Manslaughter is a second degree felony in Texas which carries a possible punishment of 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. And then you also have to live with yourself, somehow.
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