Old Motorcyclist Fades Away from Sight of Inattentive Motorist

As related in the Mason County Press:  PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — A 76-year-old motorcyclist was injured after his motorcycle was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by a Custer woman Tuesday afternoon [August 8, 2017]. The crash occurred on Pere Marquette Highway near the US 31 southbound onramp. Mason County Sheriff Dep. Adam Lamb said a semi-truck and trailer was in the process of turning onto the onramp and the motorcycle was traveling behind the semi. The at-fault vehicle driver told deputies that she did not see the motorcycle and rear-ended it.

The motorcyclist was transported to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital by ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries, Lamb said.

I am always amazed at how some people drive when they get behind (or for that matter, in front of) motorcycles.  These vulnerable users of the road do not have chameleon abilities, nor do they move all that quietly.  So how come accidents like this continue happening, with people not able to see or hear them until a serious bump happens?  The sun wasn't a factor, the roadway wasn't, this occurred on a late, rainless summer afternoon, that leaves the fault squarely on the Custer driver who sandwiched this poor guy.

It is refreshing to see an article like this where the Mason County Sheriff's deputy actually admit the driver was at fault, but will they decide to actually issue a ticket for once?  Lack of proper enforcement for such incidents only encourage unsafe driving around bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians, and a two-tiered traffic justice system where vulnerable victims aren't given their fair shake for the primary reason that they weren't in a vehicle also.

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It appears people need huge flashing neon sighs saying, "I'm here don't hit me" and then I wonder if even that would help.  There is most assuredly a two tiered system of justice.

Most of the newer bikes now have the lights on all the time, and they flash as you go, so there is NO REASONABLE Excuse for hitting a biker, unless you are blind, or on your cell, which are both reason for license suspensions. A careless driving ticket should be issued, plus failure to yield. These two tickets should be worth about 5 pts. on someone's license, then much higher insurance rates, or cancellation, and fines and court costs. This biker was clearly not at any fault, and the person hospitalizing him needs a lesson to teach them better into the future. Sad event, hope the biker is okay.

Another tip, when you travel past an accident scene don't try to start a new one by not paying due attention to the task at hand.  A PM Twp firefighter helping out, a pedestrian at the time directing traffic, got a bump by someone who should have at least got a citation, according to their Facebook page.

The simple reason that motorcyclist are hit is because people in cars do not see them even when they may look right at them. I have been mulling this over for quite some time. I used to ride bikes quite a bit and noticed people would seem to look right through me as if I were not there. As a bike travels, the background around it continually changes causing the bike to blend in because the bike and driver are much smaller than a car. A cars color and size are consistent and do not easily blend in with the background. I have observed this quite often. I almost pulled out in front of a bike several weeks ago. The bike was dark and the driver was wearing  dull colored clothes. Nothing stood out about this cyclist. I think [chameleon like] is a perfect description of what this phenomena is. Until cyclist realize that they actually are not being observed and they do  not wear bright revealing clothes as well as the lack of some sort of flashing lights to make people aware of their presence, the accidents will continue to happen.

Revealing clothes?  Does this include men as well?

Maybe no clothes would get more attention

Men generally are more visual so this may just work for male drivers.   As a side note...I've always admired those who are comfortable in their own skin.

Good idea Willy, but a lot of bike jackets that most of us buy and like are black and soft/hard leather, for warmth and protection too. I think the biggest problem is too many people are being distracted by cells, talking to passengers, daydreaming, and just not watching the road carefully. The cars today are so comfy and automated that it lulls people into subliminal trances at times.

Good points Aquaman. Those are good reasons for cyclists of all kinds to make themselves standout and be noticed. Hunters wear blaze orange so that they can be seen more easily. As long as a person rides motorcylces and bikes where there is vehicle traffic it's up to the rider to make sure their presence stands out. No matter who's at fault in an accident between cycles and cars we all know who's going to get the worst of it.


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