Hello all. Here we are getting ready for great riding days and nights, and believe me they have been a long time coming. Crazy weather this spring with 38 degrees one morning, 55 degrees the next. It even snowed here in Kansas City the third Saturday in April! Our bikes are as confused as we are, wondering when are we going to have some nice warm consistent riding weather!
Hopefully all of the cold and snow flurries are behind us and we can concentrate on our summer and fall riding schedules. Look at what we have to look forward to, rallies, festivals, and trips to visit family and friends, and Harley-Davidson’s 105th anniversary, all just waiting for us to make the final plans. So get busy, get the maps out, call your friends, rev those motors up and hit the road.
I’d like to share some interesting tid-bits with you this month that relate to motorcycling. If you have heard these before, pass them on to a new rider…food for thought!
What factors contributed to motorcycle crashes?
- Patience is the ability to keep your motor idling.
- Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window.
- Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don’t. Some can’t.
- Never be ashamed to unlearn an old habit.
- Bikes parked out front usually means good BBQ inside.
- There are drunk riders. There are old riders. There are no old drunk riders.
- Always keep the shiny side up and the rubber down.
- Never try to race an old geezer; he may have one more gear than you.
- You never see a motorcycle parked in front of a psychiatrist’s office.
- Don’t argue with an 18-wheeler.
- If you ride like there’s no tomorrow, there won’t be.
- You forget all your troubles when your knees are in the breeze.
- Do you want to save your skin from road rash if you go down? Wear leathers!
Does it frustrate you when vehicles don’t yield? On my way to work every morning cars speed up the on-ramp like Tony Stewart on a race track. They don’t signal and wouldn’t think of yielding the right-of-way. It is usually the same type of driver who speeds up to the front of a line of cars and squeezes in. Like they are too good to wait in line like everyone else! They drive me crazy with disregard for others on the road. A tip from Road Trip America: “No one has the right-of-way until it is yielded to them. If you are in doubt as to who has the right-of-way, give it away.” The other person may be wrong, but it could be you who ends up hurt or dead. When it comes to safe riding, it’s not the principle, but the outcome, that counts.
- 2% of crashes involved foreign material in the roadway.
- 7.4% of crashes occurred on a wet road surface.
- Over 300 driver-related factors attributed to motorcycle operators were reported.
- The most common factor was unsafe speed, reported in 150 crashes.
- Other frequently mentioned factors were following too closely and driving while under the influence of alcohol.
- Speed unsafe for road conditions
- Illegal passing.
- Failure to yield the right-of-way.
- Disregard stop and go signal.
- Disregard stop sign or light.
- Improper turns.
Hopefully you are a courteous rider and know the safe riding rules but when it comes to yielding here are some reminders from the Missouri Office of Highway Safety.
Drivers must yield to pedestrians under the following conditions:
- At four-way, three-way, or two-way stops, the vehicle reaching the intersection and stopping first goes first.
- When two vehicles reach an uncontrolled intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the right should have the right-of-way.
- Drivers turning left must yield to oncoming vehicles that are going straight or turning right.
- Drivers entering a traffic circle or roundabout must yield to drivers already in the circle.
- Drivers on a minor road must yield to drivers on a main road.
In every situation, the right-of-way is something that is to be given, not taken. If another driver is not following the rules, be safe and let them have the right-of-way, even if it really belongs to you.
- When pedestrians are at a marked or unmarked crosswalk and there is no traffic light
- When turning a corner and pedestrians are crossing with the light
- In any situation that could threaten the pedestrian’s safety
In most cases, the cause of a motorcycle accident is due to the negligence of another vehicle's driver. One study found that in two-thirds of motorcycle accidents the driver of another vehicle was the cause of the accident, mainly by failing to yield to the motorcycle driver's right-of-way. Most often these accidents involved a vehicle driver's failure to yield to an oncoming motorcycle while the vehicle driver was making a left turn.
Automobile drivers cause motorcycle accidents in a variety of other ways. Some drivers misjudge the speed of a motorcycle or the distance between the vehicle and the motorcycle. Others fail to check their blind spots and veer into a motorcyclist when changing lanes. Negligent drivers also cause accidents by tailgating motorcyclists. A motorcycle usually stops quicker than a larger vehicle. The larger vehicle's inability to stop with the same quickness often increases the chances of rear-end accidents and serious injuries to motorcyclists.
We want all of our readers to have a safe riding season, so don’t just look out for the other guy, look out for you! Be cautious and ride defensively.
Happy Memorial Day to everyone. Take a moment and tell a veteran how proud you are of him or her for serving our country and giving us the freedom that we all cherish. Soldiers, we thank you and appreciate you.
*** Mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual RUFF RIDE Dice Run Saturday, June 14, 2008, to benefit the Northland Animal Welfare Society (NAWS)! Slacker and Gail Worth will lead the bikes and Jennifer Jo Cobb, female NASCAR racecar driver will lead the cars! Register online at www.pcnaws.com. The ride begins and ends at Side Pockets at 169 & NW Englewood Rd, a 100-mile scenic, 5-dice stops ride through the beautiful roads of the Northland.
“Never rider faster than you angel can fly”
TIP OF THE MONTH: When vision is obscured by fog, high beams are not used because the particles of moisture in the fog act like a reflective sign. The more intense light is reflected at a higher angle, back into the driver’s eyes.