Just this morning in St. George there was a motorcycle crash -- up on Red Hills Parkway.

It was far-and-away the most common kind of motorcycle crash -- someone in a standard vehicle didn't see the motorcycle and pulled in front of the rider.

This time (fortunately), the motorcyclist was not seriously hurt. But all too often, bikers are killed due to these types of accidents.

We've seen fatalities right here in Utah in recent times.

The US Navy explains it like this: "Our eyes don’t 'see' as much as we think they do. They aren’t cameras. They are biological devices with considerable limitations. There are blurry spots and blind spots, and the image gathered is actually upside down in the brain. Your eyes scan everything and constantly send pictures to the brain for analysis, but the brain can only 'see' things it understands.

"In order to save processing power and attention, the human brain uses a 'visual shorthand' so as not to overwhelm it. When things happen faster than the eye-brain system can 'see', that’s when we start to not perceive things."

Motorcycles fall into the list of things that we may not perceive on the road. No matter how keen a driver’s eyesight is, we can’t avoid these inescapable lapses in the brain.

Studies have shown that motorcycle drivers and those with family members who drive motorcycles are much more likely to see and notice motorcyclists on the road.

And that, experts say, is key to helping us "see" the motorcycles this time of year.

You can train your brain to help you see motorcycles by thinking about them or your friend or family member who rides.

You can even try noticing a feature about motorcycles – whether or not the rider has a helmet on or maybe what type of motorcycle he is riding. Thinking about details like these can help you stay attuned to motorcycles on the road.

I was in a motorcycle crash a few years ago. It was the same old story: The guy who turned in front of me said he never saw me (even though I'm 6-foot-5, weigh 300 pounds and was riding a 900-pound touring bike with my wife on back).

It wasn't my fault, but as I've come to find out, that doesn't matter.

My leg is still messed up. My back still hurts. Sure, the other guy's insurance company paid for my medical bills. But I'm still the one that hurts.

And I can't ride anymore. That hurts too.

So this time of year, try to consciously be aware of motorcycle riders, especially when making left-handed turns across traffic.

With no bumpers, seatbelts or airbags, motorcyclists are practically defenseless.

Don't be the reason someone doesn't come home tonight.

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The Six Deadly Sins Of Driving in Southern Utah

Photo by why kei on Unsplash/Canva
Photo by why kei on Unsplash/Canva

Public Information Officer Tiffany Mitchell is continuing to educate the drivers of Southern Utah with her Motor Minute live streams on the St. Geroge Police Department’s Facebook page.

The March 14 edition of Motor Minute focused on the six deadly sins that cause traffic accidents in Washington County. To convey these issues, Officer Mitchell enlisted the help of Officer Blackman from the traffic division of the SGPD.

According to Officer Mitchell, the six deadly sins leading to traffic accidents are…

  1. Right of Way
  2. Speed
  3. Distracted Driving
  4. Impaired Driving (DUI)
  5. Reckless Driving
  6. Tailgating (Following Too Close Behind a Vehicle)

These issues are a constant factor in traffic accidents in Southern Utah and can lead to injury and even death if not taken seriously.

Let’s dive into each one in more detail.

Right of Way

The video used the example of a woman who cut off another vehicle when making a left-hand turn. Improper lane changes can also be considered a violation related to the right of way. The most important way to avoid this issue is to be considerate of other drivers.


This is pretty self-explanatory, but high speeds on busy city streets make your chances of surviving a crash go down drastically. Officer Mitchell and Blackman said in the video that most people hover about five to nine miles per hour above the speed limit. This is also a big contributor to the issue.

Distracted Driving

While phones play a big part in distracting drivers, the term distracted driving applies to anything that diverts your attention from the wheel. This means eating while driving, listening to music, turning your head to talk to your passengers, and so much more.

Impaired Driving

Impaired driving applies to anyone who is driving while under the influence of a foreign substance. Alcohol, marijuana, other illegal narcotics, and even a new medication can affect your judgment on the road. Yes, impaired driving doesn’t just apply to reckless behavior. Sometimes it can be a side effect from something you need to take for a medical purpose.

Reckless Driving

Also known as road rage in some instances, reckless driving is a conscious decision to interfere with other drivers on the road, endangering lives in the process. Maybe someone cut you off on the road, or a driver is bobbing and weaving through traffic at a high speed. On top of being incredibly dangerous to the driver and the people around them, it can also be expensive since tickets for reckless driving can cost you around $1,000 in some cases.


Under no circumstances should you be driving bumper on any street or freeway. It’s an accident just waiting to happen, and there’s a very simple way to avoid it. Officer Blackman said to give yourself about two seconds' worth of space. That can be interpreted as two car lengths, but it’s two seconds of space between vehicles.

Please watch the full video if want to hear stories related to every one of these six deadly sins and remember to wear your seatbelt during even the shortest of commutes. Your life matters.

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