April 10, 2006 | Mark Paradies

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned – Fast Bikes (or Cars) and Teenagers

The pictures you will see if you click on the link below don’t show the blood and gore that you see in some accidents, but it does show the destructive force of an accident.

Michele Lindsay, one of our Canadian Instructors, sent it to me as a lesson learned – don’t buy your teenagers a motorcycle!

When I was a senior at the University of Illinois and in the Navy ROTC program, one of the other seniors who was planning on graduating and being commissioned as a Marine, was riding his motorcycle to class. An old lady didn’t see him and pulled out in front of him. He went through the back passenger window and into the car. He was severely injured and required two years of physical therapy before he could achieve his dream of a Marine Corps commission.

Of course many cycle riders would argue that the freedom of riding is worth the risk. So what is the lessons learned in this posting?

Motorcycle riding is more dangerous than driving a car because of the reduced number of Safeguards.

Teenagers are more at risk when driving anything(car or motorcycle) because the most important Safeguard in driving … the drivers skill and caution … aren’t fully developed in most teenage drivers.

So when you combine a high performance vehicle (either a motorcycle or a car) with a teenage driver (who think they are better drivers than they really are and have less fear because of their youth) … you have created a situation with very few, and fairly ineffective, Safeguards.

I know as a teenager luck – or divine providence – saved me on several occasions. I hope that I can keep my teenagers safe by teaching them well, limiting and supervising their driving while they are young (16, 17, 18), not providing a high performance vehicle, and constantly reminding them of the power of the vehicle they are charged with controlling.

I’ll also provide examples – like the attached pictures – of what can happen so that they don’t get too confident that “It can’t happen to me.”

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