May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month : Andrew Motoblog

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

VIRGINIA (NEWSPLEX) - A fatal motorcycle accident happened in Louisa County Wednesday. According to Virginia State Police, the motorcycle accident happened to 27-year-old Gabriel Adam Zimicki-Bowditch in his 2006 Yamaha.

Accidents like that are the reason May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

There were 4, 695 motorcycle fatalities in 2012, up by more than 300 over the previous year. There are a lot of things that motorcycle riders as well as other drivers need to keep in mind.

Motorcyclists are more than 20 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than a passenger car. It is important to remain aware.

"If a motorcyclist just disappeared outside your rear view mirror, ” said Donna Waugh-Robinson, Director of Business Affairs for Waugh Enterprises Harley-Davidson in Orange. “Then please look twice in your side mirrors, your blind spots before changing lanes. They are probably still there."

Riding a bike is much different than being behind the wheel of a car.

“Motorcyclists might have to adjust their speed as well as their position in the lane due to road hazards. Potholes aren’t the same on a motorcycle as they are in a car, " said Waugh-Robinson.

Riders have to be smart as well.

"Just because you can ride in shorts and flip flops doesn't mean you should, " said Waugh-Robinson.

Albemarle County also has a lot of police on bikes, and Officer Bob McCormick has been riding for more than 40 years, including 20 on police motorcycles.

He also teaches others how to ride.

"When you're riding in traffic, be very defensive, " said McCormick. "Don't try to anticipate what other cars are going to do."

McCormick also says a brand new motorcycle may look great, but might not be the best idea for most drivers.

He said, “Don't buy a motorcycle that you can't handle. One that's too big, just because your buddy has one, or one that's too fast, especially if you’re a new rider."

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