SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s almost been a year since a car knocked Pete Santiago off his motorcycle and onto the ground, breaking his fibula and dislocating his ankle.
“I was going to New York, and a car cut me off on the highway. He sped up, cut me off to get to his exit, and that’s where I went down,” he said.
Over the past year, stories like Santiago’s have become increasingly familiar.
There have been at least four motorcycle crashes in western Massachusetts over the past two weeks, killing at least two people, and sending at least four others to the hospital. The most recent occurred early Sunday morning, when a man crashed near Allen Street and the Bicentennial Highway in Springfield.
Motorcyclist Michael Jenkins told 22News the growing number doesn’t come as a surprise. “It has happened before where you have aggressive drivers when you’re riding in big groups, they get inpatient, and try to cut in between the group,” he said.
Cutting in front of motorcycles is just one of several circumstances that causes collisions. Speeding and tailgating can also be extremely dangerous, especially if you’re not familiar with motorcycles.
The features on some motorcycles can be misleading to drivers. Jenkins said some motorcycles, for example, have a nob for a turn signal, which doesn’t turn off automatically, and could confuse other drivers if you forget to shut it off. “It’s not like a car, when you come back to go right, it automatically goes back. You have to push it again to turn the signal light off,” he said.
Since cars, trucks, and motorcyclists share the road, the only way to prevent accidents is to pay attention, and drive responsibly.
Springfield resident Rafael Rodriguez told 22News driving safely should be a priority for motorcyclists and other drivers. “Some motorcycle drivers are careful, but a lot of them are really irresponsible. They don’t respect the speed limit. And also some drivers are really not considerate with motorcycles,” he said.