Motorcycle safety tips for motorists and bikers

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. - There have been two fatal accidents involving motorcycles in the past four days -- one in Washington County, Virginia, and the other in Kingsport, Tennessee.

News 5 uncovered what you need to know to keep yourself and other bikers safe when you hit the roads this spring.    

Paul McGill considers himself a veteran biker after spending 17 years riding on his Harley. "I love it. There isn't anything like riding a motorcycle," he said.

McGill tells News 5 over the years he's seen the thrill of riding turn to tragedy when both bikers and motorists don't follow the rules of the road. "A lot of people think that they can just get on a motorcycle and go, and they can't. There's a lot of eye-hand coordination involved, and you have to be on the defense the whole time," said McGill.

Mandy Pennington is a motorcycle safety instructor. She says motorcyclists have to always be in control of their bike. "Knowing that you should respect your machine, if you don't respect it, it's not going to respect you," she said.

She adds that most accidents happen when motorists follow bikers too closely. "It's the two-second, four-second, and the twelve-second following distance. Two seconds is the minimum, and motorcycles stop faster than cars do, so you should probably add to that," said Pennington.

Paul McGill hopes the recent accidents make people more cautious, but not afraid. "I've had a lot friends that haven't gotten killed on them, but life's too short. You can't let it bother you. You've got to enjoy life to the fullest," said McGill.

Bike riders we spoke with strongly encourage their fellow bikers to take motorcycle safety classes before they head out on the roads.

Cliere here for more facts on motorcycle safety.

Most Popular