Two seconds. About the time it takes to slip a CD in your car stereo or adjust a mirror. Long enough to scold kids or swipe a fry from their happy meal. Two seconds. Hardly any time at all, until it’s the two seconds when you cross a motorcycle’s path.
There’s a lot of talk these days about “voluntary distractions.” People eat, drink and smoke while driving. They send text messages, surf the Internet and comb their hair. Nothing ever happens ... until it does. With luck, the motorcyclist is skilled enough to avoid you. Maybe you collide but the rider escapes with minor injuries. Or perhaps those two fleeting seconds change lives.
“Because there are so many new voluntary distractions it’s a bigger problem than ever,” says Imre Szauter of the American Motorcyclist Association’s Government Relations Department. “Two seconds of inattention creates significant danger.”
May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, and Ohio’s Ride Smart program urges all road users to be alert. The Ohio State Highway Patrol says riders were blameless in 30 percent of Ohio’s 165 motorcyclist fatalities last year, but regardless of blame, bikers pay a disproportionate price. Legislative efforts to reduce distracted driving often target text messaging, but Szauter says texts are one among many reasons eyes wander.
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