You see it EVERYWHERE during the warmer months. It is plastered on bill boards, bumper stickers, and even yard signs: Look out for motorcycles! And I truly get it, motorcycles are rolling blind spots. You look in your mirrors and they are nowhere to be found. Too narrow to show up where a car would, to fast to even focus on the fleeting glimpse.
And that, right there is the problem. How many of us have seen motorcycle drivers acting like complete and total idiots? And it is MY job to look out for them?
I pulled off the highway the other night and I watched a "crotch rocket" whip out from behind me and zip up the next lane. They then changed lanes three times in the short quarter mile to the next turn. Did he use a turn signal? Nope. Did he wear a helmet? Nope. Did he once think about the fact that the car in front of him can't see him whipping in and out? Not that I could tell.
In that short stretch he accelerated furiously, hit the brakes hard, changed lanes without signaling and almost got hit twice. The car in front of me had to correct twice when changing lanes (with a signal) to prevent from hitting the rider.
My office window looks out over a major interstate and the access road that feeds it as a long entrance ramp. At least a couple of times a week I hear some moron on their bike accelerate and 'wind out' several gears on this ramp. Based upon the duration and volume I am certain they are in the upper double digits, if not triple digits before merging into traffic.
I am not being some grumpy old man - I love fast cars, cool bikes, and the people who own them. I have several friends that ride and I do not wish injury or death on them or anyone else. I know that not all motorcyclist do these dumb things, and that not all accidents are caused by the riders. Driving a motorcycle is a responsibility, just like owning a gun -and just as deadly. If you are gonna do it, do it responsibly. Learn the rules, make good decisions, protect your body and do it right.
If we are going to make Public Service Announcements about motorcycles maybe it should be pointed at the riders not the other drivers. Maybe the billboards, bumper stickers, and yard signs should say - "Look out for cars" or "Slow down and grab a helmet!" or "Don't ride like a moron!" or "They can't see you but you can see them!".
Why is it my job to look out for them when so many of them don't even look out for themselves?