Fatal cycle crash headline should have said, ‘Another driver kills a biker’

Tue, 11/04/2008 - 4:56pm
By: Letters to the ...

“Motorcyclist dies in crash”: A bad headline that implies that yet another bike riding man died doing something stupid. This was the title of an article in The Citizen on Oct. 22. What the headline should have said is: “Another driver kills a biker.”

As a former motorcycle safety instructor for the state of Georgia, I can say the national highway and traffic statistics are brutal: almost 67 percent of all motorcyclist deaths are caused by a car driver turning illegally in front of the biker.

The inattentive drivers typically turn left in front of a biker and make the biker broadside the car. The usual reason is that the driver “didn’t see the biker.”

There are many causes for this, to include the heater or air-conditioning going full blast, the radio/CD going full blast or the driver was talking on the cell phone full blast. They all point to lack of attention to the road or traffic on the part of the driver.

Motorcycles are much smaller than trucks or cars, and it is imperative that all drivers pay attention to the road, and not turn in front of motorcyclists (or bicycle riders or pedestrians). There are no seat belts or air bags on motorcycles.

It is also important all motorcyclists ride very defensively on the road and do everything they can to “be seen.” We should all pay more attention to the task of driving and actively avoid making a biker or pedestrian another statistic.

Please watch the road.

Rick Williams (retired lt. col. and currently captain, B-767)

Fayetteville, Ga.

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Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 8:39am.

Aren't you the knucklehead pilot who was stopped for speeding a few years ago in PTC? You were so belligerent and arrogant to the cop that the judge fined you, and made you wash police cars for a few months?

Save your sermon about safe driving.

miss.placed's picture
Submitted by miss.placed on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 9:18am.

Actually, SkySpy, he was not the pilot you are mentioning. I find it annoying that Rick Williams has written a letter about motorcycle safety and you have gone off on false assumptions and have made false accusations. Why not just read the letter and drive a little safer?

Save your sarcasm until you get your facts straight.

Submitted by skyspy on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 10:11am.

Thanks it must be another williams who is a pilot with an airline.

First of all I don't think anybody was charged in this accident. I think it was just that an accident. It annoys me that your friend assumes the driver of the car was at fault. Yes, we all should be careful on the road. If we all would use our headlights even in the daytime, we would all be easier to see and avoid.

Submitted by Vernon on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 10:27am.

Actually, the driver of the vehicle pulled out in front of the motorcycle, and was charged.

Submitted by skyspy on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 10:34am.

You must have inside info, because the original article said the SO was investigating it. Thank you for your interest. This is sad for everyone involved.

Submitted by Richard Ford on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 9:21am.

Well Sky, let me preach on about safe driving. It has been just a few days over a year ago that I was almost killed at the intersection of Hwy 74 and Paschall Rd. by a driver that did the EXACT same thing to me. Failed to yield and turned left directly in front of me on my bike. My bike wound up under the truck and I woke up as they were strapping me onto the backboard to load into the ambulance. No speeding involved by any party, just another driver not paying attention or too impatient to wait another 15 seconds for the traffic that has the right of way to pass. With the number of riders (Motorcycle and Bicycle) in the area I am surprised it took this long to finally kill one of us.
So regardless of how this "knuclehead pilot" acted over a ticket a few years ago, the message is valid. Pay Attention behind the wheel(handlebars) lives depend on it.
My prayers go out to each of the families involved in this incident. Each one of these families are coping with some of the strongest emotions that man has to deal with and I pray for peace from the Spirit Of God for each of them.

Rick Ford
Fayetteville, Ga.

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Submitted by diablo_ogre on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 11:20am.

I ride my Scooter/motorcycle everyday from fayetteville to norcross. I have taken the MSF class as well as gear up to be safe but you can never be safe from other drivers. My friends ask me "aren't you scared to get on the highway?" I tell them know I get scared turning in my subdivision. I get passed on the right hand side by people that just because I am not as big as a car think they have enough room. I can't count how many times I have almost been hit from my right side from someone that couldn't wait 5 seconds for me to make a turn. Or worse like the article states when someone just pulls out because they didn't see you. It because to many people don't pay attention and talk on there cell phone. As I was riding in the HOV lane on the way home I started counting in the lane next to me how many people were on cell phones. I got to 25 before I hit a car where someone was not leaned over talking on there phone. The road is for everyone not just a car , or truck. We need to share it with everyone.

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