September is the beginning of our fall season. The nights are getting cooler, the leaves are beginning to change, and soon we’ll be adding layers of gear when we ride. We are a little over 100 days until Christmas, and soon you’ll begin to wonder, “Where did the summer go?”
Our riding community is still facing too many motorcycle crashes, and while I would love to call them accidents, the number of bike accidents caused by a car/cagers not paying attention is an epidemic of negligence. More and more riders are beginning to question why they ride and where they can ride to not have to fear that a driver is going to run a red light, make an illegal U-turn or be so distracted they hit someone.
This writer was driving down 6th Avenue towards Denver Health, and a car came into my lane. When I honked at the driver, I could see them checking something on their cell phone. They swerved back into their lane, flipped me off and yelled at me when I had done nothing wrong! Had the guy not been in beast mode and cussing at me, I considered driving my 2007 H2 Hummer right into his $500 car to teach him a lesson.
Last month while distributing Colorado Rider News, a cake delivery van was going south on I-25, and the driver was texting and driving. I used my Apple Play and called Cakes by Karen’s offices and, as nicely as I could. asked the company to tell their driver in the dark delivery van to get OFF the phone while driving.
There isn’t a anyone reading this that hasn’t lost count of the number of times they were driving and saw someone on their cell phone while driving. CDOT continues to tell our riding community that we need more training, and law enforcement keeps saying they don’t have the manpower to enforce the no texting and driving laws. You will always see DUI checkpoints, but you never see texting and driving checkpoints.
Here are some statics that may shock you:
- Distracted drivers cause an average 40 crashes each day in Colorado.
- In CDOT’s 2017 annual mail survey of Colorado drivers, in the week prior to the survey:
- 89 percent of participants reported driving distracted in the past seven days.
- 40 percent of drivers admitted to reading a message on their phones.
- 25 percent sent a message while driving.
- 53 percent talked on a handheld cellphone.
- 54 percent talked on a hands-free phone.
- In 2016, 67 deaths involved Colorado distracted drivers.
We must continue as a community to come together and help organizations such as CORD, Rider Justice, BikerDown, and Abate of Colorado to get our motorcycle message out to legislators. We want the laws to change and we want to protect our riding community.
We must continue to have the discussion with our families, children and new drivers about distracted driving. Our youth from a very small age are trained to get on a phone or iPad while in the car, and those habits resonate with them when they then get behind the wheel.
We must make sure the next time you get on your ride that you have the proper insurances, health insurance, and legal protection in the event of an accident.
Ride Safe out there!