If you ride motorcycles with friends, brothers, or acquaintances, the issue of peer pressure being exerted on you to do things you ordinarily would not do on your own pop up from time to time.
It can take many forms.
For instance, how many of you have ridden in a pack where the light has switched to yellow then to red, and you ran the red light to keep up with the pack?
How many of you have stayed in a coffin formation (2 abreast) even on roads where it was not safe to do so, or because you were afraid you would look bad if you did not conform?
How many of you have ridden at excessive speeds to keep up with your friends or buddies?
How many of you have had an illness or a medical condition that required time away from your motorcycle, yet your so-called friends or even brothers try to pressure you into riding by calling you a wussy, or a hypochondriac for not riding until you heal?
How many of you have taken turns too fast because you wanted to keep up with the pack, or not look bad to the other guys you are riding with?
How many of you have ridden with guys who tailgate cars in front of them, and not wanting to fall behind, you ride with the tailgater?
How many of you have ridden in in-climatic weather including extreme cold, rain, wind, etc., just because you did not want to look bad to your friends or the guys you are riding with?
How many of you have flat out done stupid things on your motorcycle, just to fit in with your friends, brothers, or acquaintances?
How many of you have split lanes at excessive speeds to keep up with your friends even though you knew it was unsafe to do so?
How many of you have followed friends who crossed a center line to pass traffic in a pack just to keep up?
How many of you do not wear helmets, or wear a beanie helmet, instead of a full face helmet, just because your friends don’t?
How many of you do not wear leather jackets or proper riding attire, because your friends don’t?
The above list of examples is not meant to be all inclusive, but I think you will all get the picture.
I will say time and time again, that on a motorcycle there are no second chances. If you do not feel comfortable doing something, than you should not do it.
It could mean the difference between life and death.
Just because your friends, a group, or acquaintances on a ride want to take their lives in their hands by riding in an unsafe or stupid manner, does not mean you have to do the same.
It is better to come home at night, than to be laid up in a hospital for weeks or months, or even planted six feet under.
The next time you are in a situation where you do not feel comfortable doing what your friends are doing on a ride, fall back, ride behind them, and catch up to them later. If you do not catch up there will always be another day.
Don’t let foolish peer pressure make you do things you do not want to do.
There are always idiots out there who want to jump off of the bridge; you do not have to jump off of the bridge with them!
By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © November 9, 2010