Believe it or not, I’ve solved the problem of texting and driving….and I think I’ve drastically reduced the problem of drinking and driving- as well as eating and driving, fumbling with the radio and driving, etc. etc. Basically, I’ve found a solution for almost all of the distractions one faces while driving that could lead to a collision of varying severity. Ready for it? Here it is: Everyone needs a motorcycle.
Hear me out. If you’ve ever driven one, or even ridden as a passenger on one, you know you can’t really do any of those things. When you’re on a bike you have to be aware of everything and everyone around you, because bikers know they’re not aware of you. Why aren’t they aware of you? Well because in their SUVs, sedans, convertibles, trucks, and the like they are texting, eating, finding a good song to rock out to (it’s probably Resonance), applying make-up, arguing with their spouse/passenger, the list goes on. Tell me I’m not wrong; if people had no distractions besides other drivers, they’d be using their mirrors, checking their blind spots in time, listening for the tell-tale noises of motorbikes and other vehicles, and a great chunk of accidents would be avoided.
I spent two summers on the back of a bike and it’s plenty easy to pull into a business parking lot (or low traffic side street), check your phone, respond to texts, pull up gps for your next destination, grab a bite to eat (you can actually store a bit of snacks and such in saddle bags and underneath seats—even in “crotch rockets”), smoke a cigarette, check your hair/makeup, and whatever else you’d want to do while in your car. You might say, “Well, you can’t listen to music on a bike! Hmmph” (wow, you’re a little snooty with that hmmph at the end…) To you I’ll lift my chin, make my voice a little nasally, and say, “Well, actually, it is physically possible for one to indulge in the listening pleasure of music. You simply just apply one headphone to one of your ears before you place your helmet over your head. Now, you can’t skip songs or adjust the volume, so you’ll need to do that prior to taking off. Yes, hmm hmm.” What else you got for me to shoot down.
Well, April-you can’t talk on the phone, what about people with children, what about those that live in colder states, how does this alleviate the drunk driving issue. I’ve got the answers- You invest in one of those fancy telephone headsets that are inserted in your ear; people with children will obviously need passenger vehicles but I am assuming if you are a responsible parent that you’re not distracted with anything besides your children sweetly singing nursery rhymes in the backseat- (with one child, get a sidecar); if you live in a colder state- you obviously only ride when the weather permits- if you’re smart and it’s snowy/icy road conditions you won’t dream of trying to check your facebook while you find “your jam” on your ipod; anyone I’ve ever known with a bike has been super cautious about having drinks and hopping on their hog- some of these people will have two or three and feel good enough to drive their car but most will only have one, if that before they hop on their bike; therefore people are more cautious on 2 wheels in general than four.
A few other perks about everyone driving motorcycles- less oil usage (maybe you haven’t heard but bikes get pretty good mpg), less “status competition”- not that it wouldn’t be there but bikes don’t hold as many options for status symbols as cars do- sure BMW makes motorcycles, but there are way less makes of bikes than there are cars, the roads could be a little more narrow- leaving room for nature, houses with bigger yards, less money spent on road construction and maintenance— it’d be like 2 or 3 narrow motorcycle lanes, a bike lane, and one lane for cars. Not only narrower roads, but parking lots would be smaller- again leaving room for nature, housing, bigger businesses. Think of the extra relationships you’d build- when I was on a bike we’d always talk to others on bikes about the joys of riding and comparing our two-wheeled vehicles—in cars, rarely does anyone strike up a conversation with the person next to them. Plus, on a purely recreational front- how nice is it to go for a ride and feel the breeze and the sun on you—I love it. Life would be good; people would crash less (obviously still some, but less) and those other bonuses I mentioned. Also, how sweet would it be to see able-bodied older folks on a “crotch rocket” (clearly, the non-able-bodied are allowed a car- but if no kids- a smart car, two seats max). I’d find me a Yamaha R1 Raven addition, similar to the one I co-owned a few years back; what about you? What kind of motorcycle would you have?
**all pictures come from google images- “motorcycle riders, old lady on a motorcycle, 2005 yamaha r1 raven”