I’ve been trying harder to keep up with the latest news and technology in motorcycles and the gear that goes with them. I found this article last weekend and then over the weekend both my brother and a friend mentioned it.
The article talks about how this guy is working on a helmet filled with technology and cameras so he can have an early warning system and he won’t be rear ended while sitting at a light. I have a few problems with this.
First, I want to say that being rear ended while sitting at a light is a fear that all motorcyclists have (or should have). Being rear ended on a motorcycle is bad, there are no crumple zones on a bike and they can result in severe injury and possibly death. I have sympathy with the inventor and am very sorry that he was in such an unfortunate accident.
First problem and really the main one, why wasn’t he watching his mirrors? That’s what they are there for, to watch for people coming up behind you. Why do we need a fancy helmet to add to the expense and complications of riding, when all you have to do is use the tools your bike already has.
I remember it clearly. I had just gotten my license and went for a ride with a friend who has been riding for years. We stopped for lunch and he was giving me all sorts of advice. All of it good, and one of the things he told me was this. “Don’t ever be at the end of a row of cars waiting for a light. Filter to the front if you can, and in the rain I’ll ride on the sidewalk if I have to.” He went on to say “If this is impossible, watch your mirrors and if you think the car coming up isn’t slowing enough, get out of there.” He then went on to tell a story where doing this helped him avoid being rear ended on his way home late one night by a drunk driver.
I took the lesson to heart, and I watch my mirrors and filter to the front. It’s not hard, and though annoying, it beats being rear ended. Looking over your shoulder for other motorists not paying attention is sadly just something you have to do when you ride a motorcycle.
My second problem is that some motorcyclist is wasting his time so some idiot in a car doesn’t have to pay attention. If we’re going to add technology to something.. why not the cars, there are a lot more of theme out on the roads. I’m sure a warning that they are about to rear end a motorcycle (or bicycle or pedestrian) would be something everyone could get behind.