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Photo credit: Nichole Mae on FacebookThis letter to the editor was written by Ralph Malicki. If you’d like to send us one, feel free to email us at

Yesterday there were a rash of car vs motorcycle accidents and sadly a fatality. My heart goes out to the family and all involved in the crash. None of their lives will be the same. After these crashes happen there is always a flurry of activity around “watch out for motorcycles.” I agree 100 percent with that, but I would challenge all to be alert including the cyclists. There is no substitute for patience and common sense.

Yesterday, I was in the middle (literally) of one of these crashes, a non-fatal one but awfully scary. I was making a right turn into a parking lot, an SUV was making a right turn out of the same driveway, a motorcycle coming off a stop sign was accelerating behind me. I think you can see where this is going. The cyclist was anticipating me getting out of the way and he was basically accelerating through the area I occupied. The SUV driver was looking at me and not past me, and he assumed I would be slowing down. In-effect, he was blocking the lane for them to get out into the lane. I turned. The SUV pulled out. The motorcyclist laid it down. It was either that or go over the top of the SUV. Next thing I heard is the sound of the bike hitting the road and by the time I got my head around this, the biker was up and walking around. His comment was that the SUV pulled out in front of him. The SUV’s driver comment was “I didn’t see him”. Lots of things wrong here. Who’s at fault? Not sure, but sometimes an accident is exactly that, an accident.

My observations, if you can’t see it or judge the closing distance properly, then don’t pull out. It is very hard for drivers to judge the closing speed of a bike. They are a lot smaller than other vehicles and can accelerate very fast. Next, I’ve never driven a cycle down the road with any degree of regularity, but I’m not sure it’s smart to accelerate in a right lane while anticipating a vehicle in front of you is turning out of the way, especially when you can’t see past that vehicle.

Again if you can’t see, don’t do it. You are rolling the dice. I drive a fair amount every day, and I see a lot of things (I’m not a professional driver, but they could really tell you stories). I’ve seen people pass on double yellow, run stop lights, zip in and out of traffic — I assume that’s because they are in a hurry. The biggest problem I see is the “it’s all about me” attitude… I need to get somewhere, I need to be in hurry, etc. Let’s all be cognizant of each other out there because when we are on the roads other lives are literally in our hands! Again, there is no replacement for common sense, patience and life! Please, no matter what you drive or why, let’s all be more careful.

Ralph Malicki

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.