AUSTINTOWN, Ohio –
As the weather finally warms up for some, this means it’s time to bring out the motorcycle.
Ohio saw a 20 percent decline in fatal motorcycle crashes from 2016 to 2017.
It’s a number that the OhioState Highway Patrol wants to continue to go down.
Even so, motorcycle accidents are far too common.
Avid biker and employee at Austintown’s Harley-Davidson BikeTown, Larry Wilson, shed some light on the tragedies he has seen.
“I’ve lost three motorcycle friends, very close friends of mine to motorcycle accidents. All three were vehicles that pulled in front of them,” said Wilson.
Program Manager at Harley-Davidson BikeTown, Linda English, said the art of the issue lies in the fact that over the winter, drivers tend to forget about motorcyclists when spring arrives.
“Through the winter months, we’re not riding, cars aren’t used to seeing us on the road, we are smaller and in the past bikes were smaller, lights were smaller and we didn’t wear bright clothing so we were easy to see,” said English.
For this reason, May has been deemed Motorcycle Awareness Month to help remind drivers it’s time to share the road.
The awareness campaigns hard work are hoping to catch the eye of drivers, especially with the classic yellow “Watch For Motorcycles” bumper sticker.
“Most of the time, and it’s a high majority, is when there’s a motorcycle involved in the crash; somebody from that motorcycle is going to the hospital,” said Ohio State Highway Patrolman Erik Golias.
Not only is this month used to make car drivers aware, but also to underscore the importance of proper motorcycle education.
“A lot of our citations alone against motorcyclists are for unlicensed drivers. Which means that the motorcyclist is probably not experienced and have probably not obtained their motorcycle endorsement like they should. So when you add inexperience behind a motorcycle operator you usually end up with crashes,” said Golias.
To stay safe in some of these worst case scenario situations, motorcycle owners can take a class at the BikeTown in Austintown. For more information on the class, they can call 330-505-2000.