In one fatal accident this summer, a motorcycle rider was wearing neither shoes nor a helmet. Its tempting to adopt a Darwinian fatalism about people who do that kind of thing, but there are many reasons for us all to be concerned.
For a start, theres the dreadful impact on the riders family, friends and community. Not to mention the men and women in the emergency services who have, yet again, to deal with the scene and its aftermath.
Another reason is cold, hard cash. Especially when a crash results in serious, often lifelong, injury. We all end up paying for it through our regos. And, as taxpayers, we all pay for the cost of fatalities.
It puts the heat on motorcycling as a dangerous activity, too. Before you know it, we are a problem that needs solving. That way lies more scrutiny and possibly more regulation.
The answer is simple: wear protective gear, all the time. Theres a range of gear designed for warm weather, so it might be worth investing a few bucks in it. Most of all, wear it. Accidents dont happen to cue when you are ready for them. So remember ATGATT: All The Gear, All The Time.
No, it wont stop every fatality. But it will massively reduce the seriousness of injuries along with saving some lives.
If you have never seen what even a low-speed spill can do to an unprotected human body, youre very lucky. Most of us whove been riding a while are familiar with the consequences. One of the champions of wearing the right gear is a young woman called Brittany Morrow. She fell off the pillion of a friends motorcycle in 2005. Check her out on Facebook, on her blog and at rockthegear.org.
Motorcycle fatalities climbed from 38 last year to 46 in the year to date. Around 1,200 of us were injured, amounting to over 10% of all traffic injuries. It doesnt have to be that way. If every rider was wearing decent gloves, boots and helmet with all skin covered by abrasion resistant gear those figures would be chopped.
Sure, it might be hot enough to get heat rash. But it sure beats road rash. Just ask Brittany Morrow.