Don’t Hang Stuff from your Rearview Mirror (Unless you want to Cause a Crash!)

It is too easy for so-called experts to claim that only four or five key problems cause the majority of road crashes.  That claim is indeed true — and of course we teach trainees all about those issues — but to act as though these are the only dangers that drivers will ever face is incompetent and is asking for trouble.  There are many seemingly minor problems that collectively still cause hundreds of thousands of crashes and far too many deaths and injuries in the USA every year.  In whatever training time we have available to us, we teach our trainees how to comprehend and deal with many of these additional dangers, too.

Photo of a red tassel hanging from the rearview mirror in a car that is being driven by a person who is also using a hand-held cellphone.
It may *seem* trivial but even small objects like this, hanging from the rearview mirror and swinging around, can trick a driver’s eyes into not noticing a child or a cyclist who just happens to be at that angle to the vehicle (which typically means on a curve or at an intersection). Plenty people have died as a result of this type of seemingly innocent scenario so please take all hanging objects off your rearview mirror. This person is also using a hand-held cellphone while driving, thus making a dangerous incident dramatically more likely.    (Image copyright, 2017.)

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Motorcyclists Drive Distracted, Too!

Don’t assume that drivers and some pedestrians are the only ones who dangerously use cell phones on the roads.  As you can see, this young rider has his left hand off the handlebars and although this bit can’t be see from the angle of the photograph, it did very much look like he had a cell phone in his hand as he went past.  And that’s not as unusual as you might think.

Photo of a motorcyclist with one hand off the handlebars, apparently holding a cell phone in a viewable position, in that hand.
A young motorcyclist, possibly tired of life, who appeared to have a cell phone in his left hand as he rode past us at speed, on our right hand side. Photo taken from the passenger seat. (Copyright image.)

Save crash-related costs by getting your employees properly trained on how best to protect themselves from other people driving badly (and from their own, potentially unrecognized errors, too).  Get details of our corporate defensive and advanced safe driving courses, then contact us from that page with any questions you might have.

The Enormous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is Happening Now in South Dakota

As many as 600,000 bikers are expected for this year’s rally.  Public safety officials are asking everyone to stay alert and reminding other motorists to  wear seat belts.

Photo of a staggered group of motorcyclists.
A small, staggered ‘platoon’ of motorcyclists.   Copyright image.

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Lane-splitting on Motorcycles — Legal or Illegal in Washington State?

People differ on whether lane splitting on motorcycles should be legal or not, but this technique — as with, for example, permitting “right turns on red” at traffic lights — has more to do with the convenience of drivers or riders than it does with best safety standards. In any event, whatever your stance on the subject, it is NOT legal in Washington State.

Photo of two motorcyclists that are 'lane-splitting' on a highway by being between larger vehicles in adjoining lanes.
Two of the motorcyclists in this photo are participating ‘lane-splitting’ by being sandwiched between larger vehicles in adjoining  lanes — the orange bike and the one furthest from the camera.  Car and truck drivers are just as responsible for avoiding this situation as are the bike riders. This photo was taken in Greece but the principle is the same everywhere. Copyright image.

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More Motorcyclists Over 50 Years Old are Getting Killed in the USA

Media excerpt:

“[In the USA, there] were 1,661 motorcycle deaths of people 50 and older in 2015, according to a November 2016 report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That’s an increase of nearly 7 percent, up from 1,553 deaths the previous year. That age group accounted for 35 percent of the total 4,693 motorcycle fatalities, the most for 2015.

Photo of U.S. skull-cap-style crash helmets, which clearly cannot be as effective in preventing head injuries.
U.S. skull-cap-style crash helmets clearly cannot be as effective in preventing head injuries as those which cover the ears and base of the skull.  The most protective, full-face helmets tend only to be worn by younger riders on fast, racing-style motorcycles. It’s an image thing (& a copyright image!).

The Forgotten Aspect: Motorcycle Helmets Save Huge Amounts of Money, not ‘Just’ Lives!

Whenever people argue that it is the right of a motorcyclist to accept additional risk of serious injuries or death, if they wish to do so, a key part of the argument is casually forgotten, and that is the often huge extra expense to everybody else if the worst happens.  It is now many years since the average cost, per body, of fatal road-crashes in the USA went above $1 million.  Indeed it is a well above a million dollars now.

Photo of two people on a motor scooter in Florida, quite legally but very inadvisably without crash helmets.
Two people on a motor scooter in Florida, quite legally but very inadvisably without crash helmets.

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Video of an Excellent “Flying Escort” by Dutch Police Motorcycle Officers

Apart from saving lives by means of enforcement and obliging many errant drivers to drive more safely, highly-trained police motorcycle officers often help save lives in other ways, too.

This team of three are from the Netherlands, and this spectacular video brought back good memories from my own years on this job, in Britain.  It gives a very good insight into this relatively rare task of facilitating the fastest possible, safe conveyance of a critically ill or injured person to the most appropriate hospital.