Motorcycle season underway early due to weather

Posted at 7:03 PM, Apr 25, 2016

After a weekend with two fatal motorcycle accidents, safety is being emphasized as the motorcycle season has started earlier than it did in 2015.

Since 2008, motorcycle sales have increased, according to Bob Weaver Motorsports in North Tonawanda. However, there are still too many people riding motorcycles without proper safety gear, said owner and long-time motorcyclist Bob Weaver.

This year with mild winter and Spring weather, sales of motorcycles started earlier than in 2015. One hundred motorcycles sold this past weekend from Bob Weaver Motorsports.

Erie County ABATE said distracted driving is a threat to all motorists, regardless of in cars or not.

AAA of Western & Central NY is urging drivers to give motorcycles adequate room to maneuver. Follow at least 3 to 4 seconds behind and use longer time periods if the road is changing or there are train tracks nearby.

Motorcyclists should wear proper clothing, closed-toe footwear and helmets that meet high standards of protection.

NYS does not mandate motorcycle safety courses to get licensed, but riders we talked with strongly encourage people to take one available through the New York State Motorcyclist Safety Program.

Other AAA tips:

As a driver:

  • Be extra cautious on weekends, when more motorcyclists take to the road.
  • Provide motorcyclists adequate room to maneuver. Follow at least three to four seconds behind them.
  • Allow extra maneuvering room in areas with potholes, pavement transitions and railroad crossings.
  • Motorcyclists may need to slow down, stop or adjust their lane position.
  • Never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Motorcycles have the same right to lanes as any other vehicle.
  • If a motorcycle is nearby, check your mirrors carefully before changing lanes. Motorcycles may be in your blind spots or difficult to see because of their smaller size.

As a motorcyclist:

  • Keep headlights and marker and taillights on at dusk and in dark or rainy weather.
  • Stay three to four seconds behind a vehicle you intend to pass, checking oncoming traffic from the left side of the lane, signaling the intention to turn, and then checking for oncoming traffic before passing.
  • Check your rearview mirror and quickly turn your head to ensure the vehicle is a safe distance behind you when completing a pass.
  • Wear helmets that meet a high protection standard. Helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries in crashes; riders without helmets are three times more likely to have a brain injury as a result of a crash than helmeted riders.
  • Wear proper clothing, eyewear and sturdy, closed-toe footwear.