Patrol officer speaks on motorcycle safety

Published: Sep. 16, 2013 at 4:31 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A weekend of beautiful weather turned dangerous for motorcycle riders in the Tri-State after a record of five accidents, one fatal, headlined over the weekend.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to experience a deadly accident on the road than those in passenger cars.

The crashes reported during the weekend posed a question of what riders can do to stay safe on two wheels when riding.

Sgt. Pete Combs with the Ohio State Highway Patrol provided FOX19 with several solutions.

Statistics show that 92 percent of motorcyclist involved in crashes were either self-taught or trained by family or friends.

"Any training that you can get that would increase your ability to operate the motorcycle in a safe manner would increase your chances of not being involved in a crash and if you were involved in a crash perhaps being able to survive the crash," said Sgt. Combs.

Combs also suggest that drivers should try to make themselves as visible as possible.

"One thing that a motorcyclist can do is to keep their headlights on. Headlights on at all times to help make sure that the other motorists can see the motorcycle coming,"  advised Sgt. Combs.

Another tip that Sgt. Combs recommends is wearing a helmet.

"Using a motorcycle helmet at all times would be probably the number one most important thing that someone could do to increase their chances that if they are involved in a crash they would survive," said Combs.

NHTSA says that wearing a helmet can reduce the likelihood of a crash fatality by 37 percent.

Each year, motorcycle crashes occur due to a variety of reasons, not limited to poor weather, defects in the roadway, or inexperienced motorists.

Sgt. Combs says that the biggest reason that crashes occurs are from common errors.

"Some of the accidents are the operator of the motorcycle....errors that he's making," said Combs. "He's not observing traffic laws and some of the crashes are the result of other vehicles perhaps not seeing the motorcycle as readily as they would see a passenger car or a truck."

Sgt. Combs believes that motorcyclists can be safe if they drive responsibly and do not think they are above getting hurt in an accident.

"There's a feeling of invincibility especially with younger people when they're on a motorcycle and I think the thing to point out about it is that is all it is a feeling a not a reality," said Combs.

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