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A referee is sometimes buzzed at a basketball game to summons him to the scoring table for a conference. A person visiting an apartment building is often buzzed through the locked front door by the resident being visited. Spectators may be buzzed at an air show by a vintage airplane performing acrobatic stunts or a sleek modern jet flying low over the crowd. Speeding vehicles buzz through traffic dodging across lanes to avoid being trapped behind slower moving cars and trucks.

How many times have you been buzzed? Maybe it was that vibrating cell phone in your pocket or on your belt that buzzed you. Or you might have been buzzed by a few bees at a rest stop or even while riding down the road. Perchance you got buzzed by the scintillating conversations, or not, floating around the room of a social gathering. Perhaps you were buzzed by the thrill of the game as you got swept up by the crowd cheering the close scoring match up.

"The feeling of excitement caused by being buzzed can come from a number of sources."

The feeling of excitement caused by being buzzed can come from a number of sources. Yahoo even has a website called Y! buzz containing “The Web’s most remarkable stories.” Regardless of the reason for being buzzed, you may well be keyed up in this condition and become more animated in what you are doing. Some people might even get upset or agitated, but normally being buzzed results in feeling energized.

Another way of getting buzzed is through the use of alcohol or other drugs. This means of achieving a euphoric state does not play well with motorcycling. Whether this chemical buzzing comes from alcohol, prescription drugs, over the counter medicines or illegal drugs, the impact on riding is the same. Becoming chemically buzzed affects every bodily function necessary to successfully interact with road and traffic conditions and to effectively control a motorcycle.

Alcohol and other drugs affect a person’s coordination and balance which are obviously required to keep a two-wheeled vehicle upright and under control. Coordination and balance are also needed to perform some of the evasive maneuvers like swerving necessary to avoid problems on the road. Additionally, the consumption of drugs like alcohol slows a person’s reactions and increases time and distance these crash avoidance actions take.

More importantly, these drugs impact a person’s vision and ability to see problems developing. If seen earlier, many roadway and traffic evils would become non-issues because they could be handled well before the rider is even involved in them. Early detection provides more time to deal with the situation and avoid getting wrapped up in it. But a rider has to see the condition developing and that requires a clear set of eyes focused on the surroundings.

The greatest impact drugs like alcohol have on riding is the damage done to the rider’s judgment. It’s well known that people under the influence typically don’t make sound decisions and decision making is crucial to safe riding. Seeing an impending predicament is one thing, but deciding that is in fact a potentially hazardous situation is another. Determining how to handle the situation requires a clear head that is able to process all of the circumstances surrounding the perilous condition.

Making the wrong decision about the slope or radius of an upcoming curve or the intention or movement of another vehicle could quickly prove to be disastrous to the rider. Yet over three quarters of all motorcycle riders killed in crashes have alcohol or other drugs in their system. Bikes plus drugs is a formula for disaster. Being buzzed about riding is one thing; being buzzed while riding is quite another.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!