More motorcyclists head out on the roads as the weather warms up. Unfortunately, that means more motorcycle crashes. Alabama ranks number 15 in motorcycle fatalities, and there have already been several in the Tennessee Valley this summer.
Store Manager of Cycle Gear in Huntsville, Aimee Odell, said, “People just trying to merge, they don’t see me at all, and they’ll come over in my lane and I’ll end up on the shoulder or something.”
Motorcyclists don’t have a enclosed vehicle to keep them safe in case of an accident. That’s why it’s important to wear the right gear.
“Check the padding in your jacket, and make sure it’s not crumbling, deteriorating. We sell it separately. We have shoulder, elbow, and back. It’s important to have all of those,” said Odell.
A lot of people forget that motorcycle helmets expire after five years, so check on the inside underneath the comfort liner to see if your helmet is still reliable.
“The part that actually protects you, the EPS liner, it actually absorbs energy. It deteriorates, breaks down over time, especially with sweat and use, and it won’t protect you the way it’s supposed to in an accident if it can’t absorb the energy,” said Odell.
Other drivers should be cautious around motorcyclists and give them room on the roads. Cyclists can also help by making themselves more visible. Odell recommends putting high visibility gear, like reflective strips, on the rider and the bike to better the chances of other drivers seeing the motorcycle.
If you’re new to motorcycle riding, take a safety course before heading out on the roads.