Hard-headed-A A +A
Monday, September 17, 2012
MANY hard-headed motorcycle drivers think they need crash helmets like they need lice on their heads. They might end up calling their Moms, "Look, Ma-no helmets." And yes, no life, too.
A motorcycle driver landed in a hospital last week in critical condition while a passenger was killed after their XRM motorcycle heading north of San Juan Street slammed into a Toyota Revo when it made a U-turn at near midnight.
Police investigation said that the two victims drove the motorbike at a fast clip and were not wearing crash helmets when the accident happened.
Obviously, the driver most likely thought traffic rules can go hang at midnight. No helmets, no speed limits. Did the responding police check the victims for drunken driving?
If road accidents are a game of which vehicles get the highest score on claiming victims, notch another for motorcycle-driving, outscoring the jaywalking casualties.
Nearly half of accidents and accidental casualties in our city streets are motorcycle-related. In fact, we saw an upsurge of 76 percent from January to August this year compared to the same period in 2011, according to Bacolod police records.
Can we blame our traffic enforcers for failing to detect traffic violations at midnight? Too bad, the city has no CCTV in at least our major streets. It would be quite easy to detect speeding vehicles even at midnight or the wee hours of the morning.
This is one time I can't fault our traffic enforcers. They've been doing a good job enforcing Republic Act 10054 (Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009). I did some random counting of those motorcycle drivers wearing crash helmets against those who flout the law.
The overwhelming number of motorcycle drivers obeys the law. The hefty fine proved too costly for disobeying it.
But there are still smart-alecky drivers who think they can outfox our law enforcers under the cover of darkness. Catch me if you can is their game but it is a game of death for losers when "accidents" happen.
So it's obvious that accidents are unintentional and cannot be prevented, that they just simply happen. Christopher Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan explains why.
Peterson wrote in Psychology Today that "Researchers do not typically use the term accident in their papers. Why? Because they are predictable. "Accident" has a very clear connotation of randomness, and if you can predict accidents, then they are not random. Researchers instead opt for more clunky but less misleading terms like 'traumatic mishaps.'"
Then Peterson noted various risk factors for accidents include among other causes the male gender, younger age, extroversion and sensation-seeking, anxiety and depression-because the gaze of those who are depressed is typically downward-and certainly alcohol.
He did a research project of US soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan. When he compared the causes of deaths, he found that soldier deaths due to accidents usually exceeded those due to enemy fire.
Why? Peterson's conclusion: Soldiers tend to be young males and are often outgoing. Deployment to a foreign country to wage a war entails newness that demands from them sensation-seeking, an adrenaline rush.
We have two major celebrations coming-MassKara and the Christmas season. 'Tis the season of late night revelry, with the male youth certain to imbibe alcoholic drinks with barkadas. Perhaps their way of primping to impress the ladies, they tend to drive fast and dangerously.
Can we expect the score of death to spike up with the remaining 'ber months, with more young perhaps drunken hard-headed revelers swaggering and bragging that they can cheat the law and Death?
Please email comments to email@example.com
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 17, 2012.