Motorcyclists, Drivers Say Both Responsible For Keeping Roads Safe

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and drivers and bikers says it's up to both of them to keep the roads safe for those who get around on motorcycles.

"Some people are kind of reckless on motorcycles -- they try to weave in and out -- but I just treat them like regular cars, try to keep my distance, and be safe," said Dominic Bailey, a driver.

Most bikers know it's important to practice their own safety rules -- like wearing helmets and being aware of their surroundings -- but they say drivers also play a part in their safety.

"Sometimes cars will get a little bit too close up on us when we're riding the bikes and that right there makes you very uncomfortable," said one biker, Melissa Turner.

They know the risks that can be involved with being on the bikes.

"We've had friends that have got in some serious wrecks. It was bad, and a long recovery, but they got back on it and can ride again," Turner explained.

Unfortunately, not every biker involved in a wreck overcomes it.

Kentucky State Police reports show that in 2010 and 2011, eight percent of vehicles involved in the state's fatal collisions were motorcycles.

That number went up to nine percent in 2012.

Motorcycles represent just one percent of vehicles in all crashes in Kentucky, and one woman knows it doesn't have to be fatal to be life-changing.

"My brother got hit by a car on his crotch rocket in '09. Now he's paralyzed and handicapped. I've seen quite a few wrecks and they're all really scary. It's probably more scary than two vehicles colliding, because the fatality rate's just higher," said Kami Manley.

That's why, as a driver, she does all she can to prevent motorcycle accidents.

"I try to slow down, and I'll change lanes if I can and just stay away from them," Manley said.

An attitude another motorcyclist says he hopes other drivers have.

"Watch for us. Anything that they can do to really keep an eye out for us helps us feel safe," said Steve Roberts.

Employees at the Harley-Davidson store in Bowling Green say they offer safety classes each weekend, and you can call (270) 846-4488 for more information.

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