The number of motorcycles on the road has been increasing lately. If you oeprate a motorcycle, it's important to know how to stay safe and prevent an accident.
As the weather starts to get warmer, you're sure to see more motorcycles on the road. If you're one of the motorcycle riders or drives, safety precautions are essential.
Melissa Coffield of Valley Harley-Davidson says there are a few things you should consider when operating a motorcycle.
"From a rider's perspective, what we tend to encourage people to do is ride within your skill limit. Don't get out there and think, hey I've been riding for a week, and I'm really going to get it now. Know your skills, know your limits," Coffield said.
According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. So, whether you're on the bike or driving around one, the key to safety is to be aware of your surroundings.
"I really feel like the biggest issue is just people not being aware. As we move on in life, it seems like everybody rushes, rushes, rushes, rushes, or road rage is a big thing. So, people just are not really aware of the surroundings," Coffield said.
According to the CDC, more people are riding motorcycles than ever before, and motorcycle accidents resulting in death have increased by over 50% in the last decade. The environment can also play a significant role in your safety. Coffield also encourages riders to take road conditions into consideration.
"Be aware of the weather around you when you're driving your motorcycle. We've had a lot of rain lately, so the roads, when you're out there on two wheeling versus four, it's a little bit slicker for you to maneuver. Left over cinders and debris from the winter make it hard. The potholes, you know, it's a little bit harder," said Coffield.
The West Virginia Motorcycle Safety Program offers safety courses for all interested riders. For more information, visit wv-msp.org.