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Home | News | Speeding, Traffic, Motorcycles and Common Sense

Speeding, Traffic, Motorcycles and Common Sense

This past Wednesday, my wife and I were driving on I-10 East. I was speeding, doing about 70 – okay, I know, it’s not safe, we were in a hurry. Coming up behind us, weaving in and out of traffic, was a blue motorcycle.

To use a cliché, this guy passed us like we were standing still. He was going as fast as he could and picking up speed along the way.

It was just before the five o’clock rush hour was to begin. More and more people were beginning to leave work and head home. We’ve all seen how the freeway becomes, almost bumper-to-bumper traffic in some spots.

That’s what was happening as we were approaching the Yarbrough exit.

Then, almost at the same time two things happen: this guy shoots past us and I tell Chantilly (my wife) to look at that guy. A split second later, it happens: he wrecks his motorcycle.

The driver of the car the motorcyclist pulled behind, hits the breaks to avoid the car in front of him who’s nearly stopped. On the freeway.

The guy on the motorcycle goes right into the back of the car, ejecting him from his bike; he bounces off  the back window as his motorcycle shoots from the right side of the freeway all the way over to the left shoulder.

The man riding the bike jumps up, out of the way of traffic, and the first thing he was worried about was not himself, or the car he ran into, but his bike.

He was in shock, bleeding from his elbow, his backpack was almost ripped to shreds – the latter keeping him safe from a bad case of road burn – and all he could think about was his bike.

While motorcycle crashes make up a small percentage of all accidents, they are becoming more and more commonplace.

Last year, in Texas, 483 riders lost their lives because of a crash. These accidents were caused by everything from the rider speeding, drivers of larger vehicles not paying attention, to alcohol being a factor.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), that number represents 13% of all lives lost in traffic accidents.
Nationwide that total is 5,286 riders losing their lives.

This past Wednesday, on I-10 East, this one rider did not become a fatality statistic. He did, however, grind the left side of his bike and damage his gas tank.

Being a soldier, well, he’s in for a dressing down at the very least. If he didn’t have his motorcycle safety card, well…

For those of you who ride a motorcycle, you are not invincible. No matter what we think, and I used to ride, we are less likely to survive a collision with a car or truck at high rates of speed.

For those of you who don’t ride, remember, always keep an eye out for riders.

For everyone else, including me: DON’T SPEED!

About Steven Cottingham

Steven Cottingham is a writer, photographer, and poet. In addition to his work for the El Paso Herald-Post, he is a videographer for AJ+, is launching a weekly podcast based on his forthcoming book, “Leap of Fatih” which will be released November 2018 from HarperCollins. Through his company, Still Going Somewhere, he is producing a series of micro-documentaries with individuals who have survived the Holocaust. You can contact Steven at 915-201-0918, or by email at steven@epheraldpost.com. To learn more about Steven, visit his webpage at www.StillGoingSomewhere.com

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One comment

  1. I’ve long thought I should write a letter in the Bugle (or whatever the post paper is now) telling the soldiers they may have survived Afghanistan and Iraq but they’re not invincible. They get bonuses and the first thing they do is buy a hot car or a super bike, then they drive like maniacs. Want to see some serious accident inducing driving? Go sit on the shoulder of Spur 601 in the morning, after lunch, as after 5 o’clock.

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