Staying safe while riding motorcycles

A 55 year old motorcyle rider was critically hurt in a crash in Amherst Monday

SOUTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Motorcycles are loud, and that noise lets people know they’re coming.

“Pipes save lives. They do that for a reason they do it not because it’s loud but to save the guy on the bike or person on bike in general,” said Jeff Ferreira of Palmer.

5,000 people died in motorcycle crashes in 2015, an 8% increase from 2014. More than half the riders killed were over the age of 40. A 55-year-old motorcycle rider was critically hurt in a crash in Amherst on Monday.

“Motorcycles are everywhere. I’m a father, I know I’d like to go for a ride and my kids would like me to come home safely, as others as well,” said Rich Lee of Easthampton.

At the Harley Davidson in Southampton, motorcycle safety is their main concern. They said being aware of your surroundings while on the road is the best thing you can do to prevent yourself from getting into an accident.

Lisa Shagnon, Parts & Service Manager of Harley Davidson in Southampton, said, “You have to be careful on the road because they still haven’t cleaned up the roads enough and there are always those potholes. If you are on two wheels and you’re out on the road you have to be aware of everything.”

Shagnon told 22News Harley Davidson bikes are made with louder engines so cars are aware of them on the road. She said wearing bright clothing is also a good idea.

Barnes Air National Guard Base offers a motorcycle rider safety course in Westfield twice a year.