Editorial: Watching Out for Motorcyclists

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Vehicle accidents unfortunately occur everyday and, every so often, we are reminded by a motorcyclist or a car’s bumper sticker to “Watch Out for Motorcyclists.” With some risk-takers, lane-splitters and speeders on the road, motorcyclists are often given a bad reputation and are categorized by many to be unruly on the road. As a long-distance commuter and family member of many motorcyclists, I often question who is watching out for whom.

Accidents happen, whether it’s the motorcyclist’s fault or the car or truck driver’s. According to statistics gathered by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, there were a total of 5,190 motorcycle crashes in New York State and a total of 291 in Nassau County in 2013. Under California law, motorcyclists can lane-split and weave around traffic to avoid gridlock and rear-ending, but in New York, this illegal action still occurs often and has some wondering whether this law would cause less or more accidents if it was considered.

Some can argue that motorcyclists should drive more safely to prevent accidents, but I believe it’s a good idea to watch out for all drivers when you’re on the road—despite your beliefs. Whether you drive a car, truck or motorcycle, it doesn’t hurt to be cautious of your fellow drivers—whether they are following the rules of the road or not.

—Colleen Maidhof

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