I continue to be surprised by the number of motorcycle passengers texting while riding. It seems that each time I ride, I witness an example of one or more individuals putting themselves at risk.
The good news is fewer and fewer motorcycle riders are talking with their mobiles jammed in their helmet. Perhaps the reality of traffic fines and accidents has hit home. Maybe it is the frightening reminders of near misses or accident photos that have deterred what used to be a regular occurrence.
The good news with riders does not apply to passengers. Just yesterday I role just behind a bike at speed, pushing his luck and the odds. He was, from my perspective, too close to danger’s edge. Moving between cars, especially ones that can change lanes at any time, often without notice, increases the danger that comes with riding. Doing this at speed, raises the risk exponentially! In this case, while the rider pushed the boundaries beyond safety’s edge, the passenger blissfully leaned back and focused both hands on her phone and the text dialogue at hand.
In this case, I was not sure who I held more responsible for the risk. Was the rider more responsible because of the excessive risk due to speed and the unknowns of car behavior? Was the rider more accountability due to her intentional focus on anything but her safety and the moment at hand? For sure both would pay the price for his or her injury that might come from an unfortunate accident.
In this case, they got through the traffic and carried on without any negative outcomes. I found myself reflecting, then and now, about the times I am focused on life’s distractions. There is plenty of advice about safety and keeping myself on track. From days gone by and the psalmist’s words, “While bad neighbors maliciously gossip about me, I’m absorbed in pondering your wise counsel,” (Psalm 119.23) to today’s insights on how to ride, drive, and live safely. We have wisdom’s words; the question is always where we are with our minds.