Distractions Lead To Accidents; Be Aware Behind The Handlebar
When a motorcycle rider does not give their driving 100% mental and visual focus, the person is distracted. Looking at the scenery or a traffic accident, daydreaming, eating, or grooming are just a few of the many diversions that engage riders. A more recent phenomenon is multitasking driving with mobile phone use. Most people are aware that it’s considered a distraction, but believe it isn’t a big deal or that it doesn’t affect their riding. Unfortunately, it’s a form of impairment that’s as debilitating as drunk driving.
How distractions affect the riders:
A Lack of Road Environment Awareness
Distraction reduces the driver or bike rider’s awareness, either visually or mentally, of the events taking place on the road. Cell phone use can cause inattention blindness where a driver with perfectly good vision fails to see cars and objects on the road. Accidents are more likely to occur at intersections, which involve traffic coming and going in multiple directions. Safely negotiating such a complex situation demands an alert and focused mind. The distracted multitasker may be able to avoid collisions with cars and trucks but often will fail to see pedestrians and motorcyclists.
An Inability to Drive Defensively
Defensive driving requires an engaged mind that actively anticipates possible accidents before they happen. The defensive driver will notice the distracted pedestrian about to step off the curb and into the road in front of her. The sight of playing children next to the road will prompt the driver to slow down and be prepared to stop. Such a driver will notice the brake lights of traffic further down the road and will anticipate a sudden traffic slowdown.
The distracted driver will do none of these things and may even fail to react at the last second to these incidents.
Distraction Endangers the Most Vulnerable People
The distracted driver will often let their reflexes do their driving for them. This means they might tailgate in ways that endanger the vehicle in front as well as pedestrians on the side of the road. Tailgating not only reduces one’s time to react to emergencies but also reduces one’s ability to see farther down the road. If the tailgater hugs the right side of the road, pedestrians and bicyclists are placed at risk. The danger is even acuter at night.
Pedestrians, bicyclists, and bike riders are the most vulnerable people on the road. When these people become victims of the distracted driver, the consequences are often fatal, and their wrongful deaths devastating to their families.
When you are on the road, you have to put all your focus on your riding. Remember, when you are behind the wheels you have a lot of lives in your hands, including your own. So, follow the rules and drive safe.
The article was originally published on hoganinjury.com
Featured image: bikebandit.com