On Aug. 26, a tragedy occurred. It was preventable, and didn’t have to be in the end. A commuter driving his Harley Davidson lost his life at 5:30 a.m. This gentleman drove his Harley on Fridays to enjoy his passion and ease his commute time. Unfortunately, a tomato truck misjudged his approach and turned left on Volta road, ending his life.

My heart goes out to the family. He had a wife, children, and additional family members who loved him. I never pass judgement. Therefore, my heart also goes out to the tomato truck driver who has to relive this scene in his head for life. The ripple effect these two lives left on others saddens me.

I often state in my head, drive with awareness and forgive those who don’t know what they don’t know. This keeps me safe. If you ride my bumper and I’m traveling with the flow, I will let you obtain the extra 15 feet you so desperately need. If you are recklessly traveling when there is no place to go, you are welcome to my place. I will safely find another. The greater point is we all need to be cognizant lives can be lost in a split second.

There are a couple of points that resonate with me as I commute, or drive in town. As you are driving, always consider what may unfold in front of you. Be prepared for an out-route which may include slowing down to prepare for this potential situation. It’s very important that you assess your surroundings, in case you have to put this plan in play.

Never risk what may seem like an executable maneuver. First, the few seconds you gain are not worth the high potential of tragedy. Second, what if your vehicle stalls or there is an unexpected mechanical failure? Suddenly your ever reliable automobile has put both you and the lives of others in harm’s way. None of this is ever worth the realm of the “what if…”.

Commuting accidents are common, loss of life, not so much. Although I have a great deal of empathy for any accident, in my opinion a motorcycle accident stings a little more. There is little to no protection, and is most often final. For this reason, despite one’s position on motorcyclists, I personally make room when possible, ensuring their path is a safe one.

I never assume I have more right to the road than anyone, especially the motorcycle. In fact, I don’t care who you are or what you drive our common goal is to reach both sides of our destination without incident. With that thought, I highly recommend a clear, conscious mind while driving. Have patience for all.  Frustration and anger impair sound judgement. And be prepared at all times by keeping a keen eye for potential dangers. Never assume the sight before you will remain constant.

Again, my best to the families and those involved. Fellow commuters…. Kindness is a Superpower!