First things first.
Some one very close to me once had an accident on a motorcycle and I'll never forget the phone call I received. A shaken voice (the voice of who crashed) went through the details of what happened while I listened nervously, waiting to hear what was broken or appendage would have to go. Fortunately, and rarely, no injuries. You wouldn't believe looking at the bike.
I don't ride. I have, however, always had an attraction towards bikes and a respect for those who do. Attending the YYC Motorcycle show was an opportunity to see the newest, prettiest, fastest bikes. Walking through the likes of Kawasaki, Harley Davidson and Ducati, the memory of that phone call burdened me. The fact that you can buy a machine that can easily push 300kph that costs less than a ford focus is a stunning concept. I don't think that motorcycles are "death machines". I don't think they actively try and murder the person riding them.
I believe there are only two threats to a Motorcyclist. His pride, and the automobile.
Once I started going on more and more cruises with motorcycles, I found how terrifying and unreliable the average motorist was. Watching my friends have to swerve out of the way from people not shoulder checking or following way to close behind them gave me an idea of what it must be like to ride. New technologies are being applied to help protect motorcyclists on the road. They have protective jackets with an air bag type system that deploys when the occupant impacts something. Helmets have come a very long way and can prevent serious head injuries in the event of a crash. All these things are fantastic but the issue I have still stands.
Many accidents are just that. Accidents. Many aren't.
We have a responsibility as drivers to pay attention to the road around us. We have a responsibility as human beings to do what we can to protect others. As spring approaches and bikes start appearing on the road, I ask you, the average motorist, to pay more attention.
Use your indicators. Look at your mirrors. It could very well save a life.