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Not seeing motorcycles carries a high price

How often have you been driving along and then need to change lanes? After you safely complete that maneuver, has the thought ever occurred to you that you cannot remember looking in your mirrors and checking any blind spots before you began the lane change?

And how many unconscious lane changes like that have you executed in your time driving? One of the greatest dangers presented by driving is that once most drivers progress beyond the raw novice stage, they become "comfortable" behind the wheel. 

This generally a good thing, as it speaks to the confidence and ability to handle the vehicle and understanding of how it operates. With a modern vehicle, with a seamless automatic transmission, plush seats, elaborate sound systems and dazzling electronic displays, it is all too easy to forget you are in a vehicle moving with a velocity of 75 or 100 feet per second.

A simple lane change appears to be the cause of a fatal motorcycle accident that occurred Sunday and took the life of the Ridgeway, New Jersey volunteer fire chief.

The driver of the vehicle that struck the motorcycle was changing lanes, moving from the left to the right lane. The motorcycle attempted to swerve and struck a vehicle waiting at a stop sign.

The driver told police that he did not see the motorcycle. The usual suspects in many car and motorcycle accidents, speed and alcohol, do not appear to be involved, but the driver of the car was given a blood test to check for drugs or alcohol.

The campaign for motorcycle safety awareness uses the slogan "Start Seeing Motorcycles," and accidents like this one demonstrate why. 

Source: Nj.com, "Volunteer fire chief killed in Lakewood motorcycle crash; community mourns," Lisa Rose, The Star-Ledger, August 11, 2014

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