Safety tips for riding a motorcycle
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — As the weather warms up, motorcycles are more likely to go out for a ride. But motorcycle accidents often happen during the summer months and can be fatal for those who ride.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 20195,014 motorcyclists died in fatal accidents.
According to Lanty Hammons, state director of American Bikers Aimed Towards Education (ABATE) of West Virginia, motorcycles can’t stop faster than cars.
“You have two wheels, and they are much thinner than car tires. Some of these bikes weigh 1,000 pounds, plus a rider or two. You put 1,400 pounds trying to stop it,” Hammons said.
Although bikes can weigh a lot, they don’t take up much room in your eyes, especially at a stop sign or a red light. So there’s a common expression for that in the biker community.
“Look twice, save a life. We ask that you please take that extra second to take a second look at a motorcycle,” Hammons said.
Hammons recommends that motorcyclists stay out of car blind spots and stay ahead behind a car traveling next to you so that you can be better seen by other vehicles, and motorcyclists should be prepared that cars do not don’t see them.
“Always prepare for the worst. I tell everyone to ride like you’re invisible because no one can see you. Make yourself visible,” Hammons said.
If the worst happens, there’s a reason riders wear leather—and it’s not for looks.
“The old expression is ‘dress for the slide, not the ride.’ We’re wearing blue jeans, at the very least. They’ve got Kevlar or leather, and we’re wearing leather. That leather vest doesn’t look like much, but it’s an extra layer between me and the road at the in case I fall,” Hammons said.
Potholes are another thing that many of us in cars think about with annoyance, but could be deadly for motorcycles, according to Earl Nuzum, president of Concerned Bikers of West Virginia.
“55 miles an hour, there’s a bad stretch of road, there’s a pothole on that road. And we have to kind of send a message to them so they know this might be on their ride,” Nuzum said.
More than anything, runners want to be able to get home.
“We all have little kids or grandkids who want to see us go home. I don’t think anything is happening because somebody didn’t look twice before making a left turn,” Hammons said.