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Safety reminder for motorcyclists before Memorial Day weekend

Posted at 5:13 PM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 17:50:34-04

SANBORN, N.Y. (WKBW) — According to the US Department of Transportation, motorcycle registrations increased steadily between 2010 and 2015, before leveling off at more than 8.5 million in 2019.

Motorcycle deaths accounted for 14 percent of all motor vehicle crashes that same year.

"Every time you get on that motorcycle you have to realize that on two wheels, you are more vulnerable, you are less stable and we're also less visible," said Sue Slate, who has been a motorcycle safety coach for almost 30 years.

She teaches riders at the Motorcycle Safety School essential lifesaving skills like braking, cornering, and staying visible to other drivers - whether that be wearing bright or reflective clothing.

"Visibility really keeps us alive," she said.

Staying visible, reducing speed, and getting enough training are just a few things riders can do to stay safe.

Last year, state police investigated more than 82 accidents involving motorcycles.

"The three common things that we see with motorcycle collisions: unsafe speed, unsafe lane change, driver inexperience," said Trooper James O'Callaghan, NYS Public Information Officer.

Slate said she wants to make sure all her students know all the skills they need to stay safe on the road.

She said she was self-taught driver, and didn't realize there were strategies to operating a motorcycle.

"When I took this course for the first time in 1986, I really said to myself I should be dead. I was doing so many things wrong as a self-taught rider," she said.

Slate teaches a basic rider course.

"Which involves people who have been riding on their permits for quite a while and realized that it would be much better to get some formal training," she said.

Slate adds that this shouldn't be the only course you take, she herself takes at least two advanced rider training courses a year.

She said continued practice helps you maintain those skill sets.