I can still remember my first motorcycle, the Triumph 650 Bonneville, complete with easy rider handlebars, short pipes, and a lot of noise. (That’s probably what I enjoyed about it the most.) Twenty-five years later, I can’t help but chuckle and smile when I think about all the fun I had on that bike.
But like most motorcyclists, I have a close-call story that left me shaken. I was nearly run over by a driver, causing my bike to stand up on its back tire. As my feet hit the ground, I pulled myself back into the bike, which made it look like I knew what I was doing. In reality, I was terrified and naive.
Unfortunately, stories like this aren’t uncommon for motorcyclists. Distracted drivers and motorists who forget to look for motorcyclists put riders in danger every day. In fact, my own perceptions on motorcyclists’ rights were shaped by another personal incident. A close friend of my father was killed in a motorcycle accident when a driver ran him off the road. Those close to this friend knew this accident was the motorist’s fault, but perceptions and small-town gossip placed the blame on my dad’s friend.