Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Passing of Dr. Harry Hurt

If you've spent a lot of time following the motorcycle safety discussions and debates, you've no doubt read about Dr. Harry Hurt.

Hurt passed away last weekend, as reported by Cruiser Magazine today. He wrote the infamous "Hurt Report", which studied motorcycle accidents and what caused them. The report was a groundbreaking report because no other such study had ever been conducted, it debunked some popular myths, and reinforced beliefs that riders already knew.

Cruiser Magazine went on to say some really interesting things about Dr. Hurt and his report, which I recommend you read.

If there's ever been a common theme in what I've tried to say about motorcycle safety it's that it's each rider's own responsibility.

That is, it's a double-edged sword. Certainly there plenty of cagers who don't take the time to look over their shoulder before making a lane change, and it would be their fault for hitting you. But you also knew that such cagers exist on the road, and yet you still chose to ride a motorcycle.

As long as you had the freedom to buy a pickup truck over a motorcycle, you had a chance to give yourself more protection.

But it would also be short-sided of me to end it on that note. Everyone on the road has the right to use those roads with some expectation of safety, motorcyclists included. But today, it seems that we live in a "me generation", where we tend to blame others for everything and expect some kind of compensation. We seemed to have forgotten that Fate still exists.

My mom still worries about me riding a motorcycle, and still says that I'm going to get killed on it. So I always tell her that I could get killed driving a car just as well. And if you said the same thing yourself, then you agree with me that each rider takes a chance when they ride their motorcycle.

If you really want to be safe, don't ride a motorcycle. Period.

But if you choose to do so, then you've accepted whatever hand Fate deals you. In that case, make sure you have fun.

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About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)