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Motorcyclists and auto drivers must share roads equally

In the novel, "Zen, and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values," Phaedrus, the story's narrator, points out that good conversations are not easily had while riding a motorcycle. Rather, he says that time riding is spent in contemplation. He adds that the mind of the rider in motion meditates on such things as the weather, memories and present surroundings.

Perhaps this state of mind is possible because motorcyclists are indeed at one with the environs through which they move. On the other hand, when people travel in cars, their experience is more passive. This is likely due to the shell of an automobile keeping the driver separated from the outside world. The car provides protection, but it stifles experience. Still, both the active motorcyclist and the passive motorist must share the road.

Therefore, it is import that the rider not let their mind drift too far from their immediate situation. After all, a pothole or some loose gravel could prove a treacherous hazard if not maneuvered through properly. Drivers have more room for error as it takes a fairly sizable obstruction to pose a real threat.

This contrast in circumstances is clearly demonstrated when a motorcycle comes into the proximity of a larger motor vehicle. At such times, a driver should exhibit an awareness of the motorcyclist's more vulnerable position. This means drivers should not crowd or cut off motorcyclists. The slightest nudge could cause a rider to a take hard spill, or even to careen into oncoming traffic.

Some measure of injury is almost certain if a rider falls from his motorcycle or has collision with another vehicle. Such a crash could wind up causing catastrophic injuries. An injured rider may require an extended hospital stay to receive care and engage in physical rehab. The medical expenses for such treatment could be exorbitant.

Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. offers legal services for victims of motorcycle accidents, which you can read about on this website.

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