Despite what cautions may be given the reality is that the hot and sunny long weekend of August 3 through 5, will inevitably lead to an increase in motorcyclist fatalities. Already there have been reports of two fatalities on Friday evening, one near Grand Bend, and another in Toronto. Various investigations are carried out by police but rarely is there sufficient information provided to the public, and particularly to other motorcyclists, as to how and why the collisions occurred. This leads to situations where actions taken are based on old wives’ tales and gossip rather than objective fact.
One view maintained by many motorcyclists is that they will be protected if their machines are as loud as they can be. The idea being that other motorists will recognize that they are nearby. The reality is that, unless they are involved in high accelerations the running noise exhibited by a motorcycle travelling at constant speed is not that great. Certainly not easy to hear when the drivers of enclosed vehicles such as cars, light trucks and vans and heavy trucks have their windows rolled up and their air conditioning running, or more so when some form of entertainment device, like a radio, is playing inside the vehicle.
A large number of collisions involve situations where motorcyclist excessive speed and acceleration, along with difficulty of detection, combined with the complexities of initiating and maintaining maximum braking, make motorcycle collisions more likely. Added to this is the fact that almost any incident, even a minor impact, can result in grave injuries to the motorcyclist because there is essentially no protection available. Some motorcycles are being equipped with airbags but that only helps in certain, single impact collisions. However, once a motorcycle is destabilized, falling off at highway speed can be of little difference that being ejected from a four-wheeled vehicle by not wearing a seat-belt.
In the end, the lack of information and understanding, due to a lack of quality objective fact, leads many motorcyclists, and other drivers, to ignore the usual scare tactics employed in the public mainstream and continue riding and driving without the essential skills needed.
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