A car whips over into your lane as you approach a red light, slicing off your path of travel and causing you to brake excessively and skid. Do you fly into a tirade of verbal assault and berate the driver and all people within earshot “just because”? If you had been in a car and the same thing happened, would you respond differently or does the vulnerability you have when motorcycling change your reaction?
In this guys opinion the latter is usually true and as I age I have put more and more thought into how we as the motorcycling community handle situations like this. Now I’m not saying that we all need to prance merrily thru the streets with cagers and sing kumbaya, but we don’t have to kill each other over simple mistakes that harm no one. I’m all for a person learning their lessons and accountability, but sometimes it’s much easier to admit fault (whomever’s) and move on. Some people just process at a different rate of speed.
Sadly though as motorcycling rises in popularity for its freedom from four wheeled solitude and also the lighter hit to the wallet afforded by high MPG’s, that just means that there are more of us out there NOT being paid attention too. Traffic deaths involving cars, trucks, busses, and tractors versus motorcycles continue to rise.
As an alumni of the IMPA or International Mirror Punchers Association, I have had my fair share of run-ins with aggressive and seemingly oblivious drivers in the past but I’ve matured and as my career as a trainer/troubleshooter for a major company has taught me that some people are unreachable. Maybe that 18 yr old girl driving, texting, painting her nails, and drinking coffee shouldn’t be on the road, but who’s to blame? The cell phone company, her parents, Obama, or maybe we should keelhaul her driver’s education instructor for not waterboarding more as an acceptable method for programming it into driver’s heads. Anyway you slice it there are going to be idiots on the highways and byways today. It’s up to you to fight the battles, pick your wars, cover your ass, and rage hard into the bendies.