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Let’s Make the World Safer for Bikers

Posted on Wednesday, December 10th, 2008 at 6:10 pm    

I'm getting really tired of these statistics: Bikers are 30 times more likely to die in accidents than drivers of other vehicles. Fatality rates have climbed among bikers for the last few years – a few percentage points, perhaps, but still an increase. 3/4 of motorcycle accidents involve collision with another vehicle, and 2/3 of those collisions were caused by the driver. These numbers are from a study conducted by the University of Southern California in 2006, by the way. How much longer are things kinds of trends going to continue?

Of course we can't just blame everything on drivers. There are plenty of things bikers can do to make ourselves more safe: Don't speed. Don't drink and ride. Be careful around those sharp curves, dammit. But following every rule will only have an effect on 1/4 of motorcycle accidents – not that that's a small number, but what about the other 75%? The simple fact is that many, many drivers do not keep their eyes on anything but other cars. Motorcycles, bicycles, and people on foot just don't seem to register on some people's corneas. There have been campaigns to raise awareness of this, bikers and pedestrians have taken to using reflective materials and just about anything else we can think of to increase visibility…what else can be done?

Maybe the only way to get people's attention is through their wallets. That's proven to be the case with neligent businesses, anyway. Maybe if every person who caused injury to a biker, cyclist, or jogger had to pay for what they did, and I mean that literally. Pay for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering. Pay for funeral expenses and loss of companionship if the accident ended tragically. I will help anyone who comes to me after being hurt by a negligent driver earn the compensation they deserve. I will keep doing this until these accidents stop.

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