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Texting While On a Motorcycle

September 22, 2016

texting while on a motorcycleWhen we are toddlers, we learn a lot of don’ts: don’t touch a hot stove, don’t run with scissors, don’t stick your finger in an electrical socket. You learn these things once and usually they stick with you for life. But then there are things you feel like you should never even have to teach people: don’t jump out of a plane without a parachute, don’t lie down in front of a speeding train, don’t be texting while on a motorcycle. Basically, these actions seem suicidal, right? And yet, I’m astonished to report, we are seeing more and more news reports about people who have been caught texting while on a motorcycle! Such as…

Man on motorcycle takes both hands off handlebars to text during high-speed chase

… texting while riding a motorcycle while you’re being pursued by police might rank among the most dangerous and ill-advised acts any motorist could possibly perform. Police helicopter footage out of Florida shows a man doing just that, taking not one but both hands off the handlebars to send a text while in the middle of a high-speed pursuit with police.”

There are also videos of people texting while motorcycle riding. These videos quickly go viral because most people find it absolutely mind-boggling that anyone would ever actually text while riding a motorcycle.

Texting while on a motorcycle: You strip away all the “cool” and just look like a fool.

Have you seen this guy who is lounged and texting on his motorcycle?

Or this guy texting in shorts, sandals and sleeveless shirt while texting?

It’s a good thing those two men are wearing helmets, although I’m not sure they’re protecting much. Sorry for the flippant comments, but you have to be really, really stupid to text while riding a motorcycle. (And while driving, too.) We can assume that if those young men continue their suicidal behavior, they will one day die, become permanently injured, or worse, kill someone else.

We also have plenty of news stories about deaths attributed to texting while on a motorcycle. Here is a recent one:

Man Texting While on Motorcycle Loses Life

The 43-year-old Indiana man was heading south on I-65 on his motorcycle Thursday afternoon—while texting at the same time, police say. He apparently veered into the grassy median, tried to swerve back onto the highway, and lost control. He wasn’t wearing a helmet, and later died at an Indianapolis hospital.”

So, now that we’ve gotten through the shock value of this topic, please allow me to share some helpful advice.

Why Do You Ride?

Take big step back and ask yourself why you ride in the first place. Most of the motorcyclists I know want to get away from it all. They want to let their free spirit roam wild, enjoy the open road, and leave the hustle and bustle of the real world behind for a few hours.

So, given your number-one motivation for riding, why would you ever text while riding your motorcycle? You’d be participating in one of the most invasive technologies ever to hit our society… while trying to get away from it all.

If You Absolutely Must Communicate from your Motorcycle…

While texting on your motorcycle is a completely horrible idea, you can still safely communicate with others while riding. Gear manufacturers are all over this human need!

For example, you can get a helmet with Bluetooth, enabling you to access your phone without using your hands. Just Google “Bluetooth motorcycle helmet” and you’ll get pages and pages of results. These helmets allow you to accept calls, reject calls, redial calls and some even provide biker-to-biker communication capabilities.

If you simply must communicate while riding your motorcycle, gear up! But never, ever text.

You Do Not Look Cool

There is a certain mystique associated with riding a motorcycle and, let’s face it, you probably look pretty darned cool when you get on your bike and ride.

Well, you strip away all the “cool” and just look like a fool when you text and ride. Did you see all the reactions that people had to the videos and news stories I posted above? Those bikers were literally laughed at! Do you want to turn yourself into a joke? A laughing stock on the road? I doubt that’s the mystique you’re going for.

That’s an Expensive Text

Alright, if you’re not going to stop texting on your motorcycle for safety reasons, how about financial? If you text while riding a motorcycle and if (when) you get into an accident, (if you live) the prosecuting attorney (representing the client you no doubt injured) will subpoena your phone records. As soon as it’s clear that you were texting while on a motorcycle, the jury is going to hit you with the hardest punishment they possibly can. If you own anything, such as a home or other toys (your bike will be totaled), you could lose them all.

I do understand that it is hard to completely unplug when you get out on the road. It’s hard for car drivers, too. But motorcycle riding is already fraught with risks and staying safe requires 100% of your attention. If you simply must text, pull over. You could be saving your life and the lives of others.

Related articles:

Top 5 Ways to Promote Motorcycle Safety – There are good ways to go about promoting the safety cause and there are bad ways.

Motorcycle In-line stopping – Those who ride motorcycles may do some things car drivers don’t understand. Here’s some great information to help non-riders understand why riders do some of the things they do on the road.

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