Motorcyclists offer tips to drivers for sharing the road safely

Following a fatal accident this weekend in Bowling Green, motorcyclists are asking drivers to pay closer attention while driving.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 6:16 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - A tragic accident in Smith’s Grove on Sunday left one motorcyclist dead after another vehicle struck his motorcycle.

With the weather improving and more riders on the road, avid motorcyclists say that the easiest way to share the road safely is to remain aware of the presence of motorcycles and look twice before changing lanes or turning.

“80-degree weather hits and it’s sunny outside. There’s tons of motorcyclists on the road and we just ask that people look twice and share the road with us,” said BJ Wilborn, general manager at Harley Davidson of Bowling Green. “Motorcycles are a little bit smaller than cars and harder to see sometimes so, you’ve just gotta pay attention and know that they are there.”

Wilborn and the crew at Harley Davidson were familiar with William Widner, the 23-year-old that was killed in an accident last weekend.

“A really good kid, like I said. We had sold him two or three motorcycles. Just reading the article back, it says the driver did not see him. It goes back to paying attention when you’re on the road,” said Willborn.

When following a motorcycle, Wilborn says that it’s important to pay close attention to brake lights and turn signals. In Kentucky, it is not mandatory for a motorcycle to have those warning features, but there are hand signals that drivers can look for as well.

“For instance, if a rider is gonna make a left turn, they would just hold their arm out straight. If they were going to make a right turn, they would hold it up at a 90-degree angle, or if they are gonna make a stop, they would hold their arm down,” said Wilborn.

In everyday life outside of the road, there are still simple steps that can be taken that make the road a safer place for motorcyclists. Wilborn says that a major concern for motorcyclists is grass clippings on the roadway.

“You know, a lot of homeowners, they go out and they start mowing their yard and I guess they don’t think about blowing that grass on the road,” said Wilborn. “That grass on the road is like ice for a motorcycle, so all that we ask is that you know, you turn the other way whenever you start to mow your grass. Blow it the other way instead of blowing it in the road. It could make a difference.”

For riders, Wilborn says that while protective equipment is not legally required in Kentucky, it’s important to protect yourself with a helmet, gloves, and jacket while riding.