Motorcycle accidents and deaths spike this time of year

Massachusetts law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets, which the NHTSA says prevents brain injuries 67 percent of the time

Image Courtesy: Suewannee Willard

SOUTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Now that the warm weather is here, it’s a dangerous time for motorcyclists. Whether you’re behind the wheel or on a bike, you each have safety responsibilities.

Before your start your engines motorcyclists, consider this: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclist deaths are 27 times more likely than deadly car crashes. Thousands were injured in accidents last year. The number of crashes are highest during the spring and summer months.

Now more than ever, cyclists and drivers need to play it safe.

Massachusetts law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets, they prevent brain injuries 67 percent of the time. Wearing the right, reflective gear is essential.

Sales manager of Harley Davidson in Southampton told 22News, “You’ll see a lot of people riding in tee-shirts and no gloves. The worst thing in the world is to go down on a motorcycle without wearing the proper protective gear.”

Cyclists should pass drivers on the left, always signal, and stay out of their blind spot. Drivers, you need to vigilant about checking your mirrors before turning, merging, or changing lanes.

Always use your signals, something Mick Morrissey of Easthampton is more conscious of as a former motorcycle rider.

“People pull up to an intersection, and they say, ‘Oh, no cars or trucks,’ and they go,” Morrissey said. “When they don’t even see the motorcycle or the bicycle or even the person walking across the street.”

Only pass motorcycles when they’re in the center of the lane and you have lots of room to go around them.

Harley Davidson recommends both new riders and seasoned riders alike take the Pioneer Valley riders safety course. Click here for a list of courses, schedules, and safety reminders.