Ask most any dedicated motorcycle rider about how he or she approaches riding alongside any larger motor vehicle and at some point you will likely hear the statement, “I ride as if I’m invisible to other drivers.” This may seem like a strange thing to say, since the common assumption is that many bikers are looking for attention. The sad fact is, attention is not what they get; not at least from passenger car and commercial truck drivers.
Being seen is one of the most important factors in avoiding a traffic accident on Maryland’s roadways. And, yet, motorists involved in both fatal and injury-related accidents with motorcycle riders frequently tell police that they never saw the bike or the rider until after the actual collision. As Baltimore automobile accident lawyers, we know this happens every day across the country.
This isn’t very surprising, especially when one considers the relatively thin profile that a motorcyclist presents to other drivers on the road. Quite literally a motorcycle gets lost against all of the background information that a driver must process every second while traveling down the road. This is why the “invisible” statement is so true. Ride as if you were invisible and you may live to see another day.
Being invisible is bad enough on a high-speed expressway, but it’s nothing compared to riding on a city street or a two-lane country road. At times like these, not being seen can be deadly for motorcyclists, and bicycle riders as well. This is why the best riders work hard to manage the multiple and changing threats encountered along their ride. Risk management is something that every rider needs to master.
A while ago, a Frederick County man died from injuries he sustained in a traffic collision while riding his Yamaha dirt bike along a stretch of Wolfsville Rd. on a Tuesday afternoon. According to news reports, 55-tear-old Michael Wolfe was heading northbound around 2:30pm when a sport utility vehicle being operated by a 17-year-old driver apparently pulled into the man’s path after failing to yield the right of way to the oncoming motorcycle rider.
Police reports indicate that the bike slammed into the side of the larger SUV, a GMC Yukon, throwing Wolfe from his bike and causing several of what were later described as life-threatening injuries. The victim was taken via police helicopter to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. The man underwent at least one surgery after being admitted to the hospital, according to reports.
Wolfe was apparently no stranger to motor sports, having owned a number of machines including various motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, jet skis and snowmobiles. According to reports, he always wore proper safety equipment whenever he went riding, including the day of the accident. Calling the crash an unavoidable tragedy, Wolfe’s wife said that her husband was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Although doctors apparently did all they could for the man, Wolfe died several days after the accident, succumbing to the injuries he received to days earlier. At the time of the news report, police were still investigating the crash, and there was no mention of whether the younger driver was injured as well. At the time, police had not yet released her name to the media.
Motorcyclist dies of his injuries, FrederickNewspost.com, May 7, 2011