Waiting is one of the hardest things to do, I think. My worst enemy (and I feel so many of us riders can relate to each other!) is cantering down an entire long side and waiting for that jump. In my case, it was my last lesson I took, and I surprised myself by actually managing to be patient and wait for the “bounce” poles, keep a good pace, and finish positively. It was actually a fantastic lesson. I really needed it.
But today, I am not going to talk about the lesson. I want to talk about a similar waiting game, and that’s waiting a few more seconds to turn left at an uncontrolled intersection when you’re driving – especially if you see a motorcycle as part of oncoming traffic.
As some of you may have seen on my Instagram, just a little over a month ago in the first week of October, my sister was killed in an accident because someone didn’t wait to turn left. She was riding her motorcycle with the flow of traffic on her way to meet a friend for a ride, and was only two blocks away from their meet-up point. The cars the person darted in front of could swerve and stop. She could not. This is why you see many riders lay down their bikes because it’s their best bet to be as safe as possible to mitigate an accident. Unfortunately, in my sister’s case, the person turned so close to oncoming traffic that she didn’t have time to do so. She tried, but… well. I don’t think we’d be here if she succeeded.
Left turns at uncontrolled intersections are apparently the major cause of motorcycle fatalities, something I had no idea happens as often as it does until this became my family’s reality. I’ve always tried to be conscious of motorcycles while driving once I knew my sister did so, but this introduced something I’d never known before. Now, I take extra precautions when turning left at an uncontrolled intersection.
So, to whoever this reaches, whether you ride, know someone who rides, or don’t ride at all, please just wait a few extra seconds when you are turning left at an uncontrolled intersection. If you see a motorcycle in oncoming traffic, please please please wait those extra seconds. One small decision to wait could mean someone’s life. The ricochet this has caused, not just for my family but for everyone who knew my sister, is extremely overwhelming. It’s lists upon lists of things we should’ve never had to do, and always the small, little things that constantly nick and poke and expose the fact that she’s not here anymore.
These holidays, hold your loved ones close. You really don’t know when might be the last time you’re able to do so.
Again, please beware of motorcyclists as the weather is nice for them to get out and ride – especially in the west coast. There are always stupid drivers who aren’t aware of riders, as I’ve witnessed many times, and it always makes my heart race whenever I see it. Through this I now know so many bikers, and I worry about them now as well, and hope they’re as safe as they can be whenever they ride.
There really aren’t any proper words, anything I can really say to encompass who my sister was – there just aren’t enough words, and even if there were, they’d never do her justice. So, this post is dedicated to my sister.