Motorcycle Safety Month: It's needed

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Just this week, two motorcyclists were involved in single vehicle accidents in Missouri and on Thursday afternoon a motorcyclist was airlifted to the Med following a bike - vehicle accident in Hoxie. It's a dangerous world out there.    

In 1973 Barry Eggers hit a train on his motorcycle on Highway 18.

"There was no lights on and the train came out from behind some seed bins at the Nettleton stock yard, the lights weren't on. He was going 50 and I was going 50." Eggers was lucky to have survived.

Nationwide nearly 2 Thousand people died in motorcycle accidents in 2011. With this year's gas prices, the sales of motorcycles are up nearly 7 percent. Which could mean a lot of inexperienced riders on the road.

Marty Melton has been riding bikes for nearly 30 years. He said you have to make the right purchase when you buy a bike. "A lot of people just go and buy a big bike and they really don't know what they've got."

Inexperience can get you injured or killed. Eggers says single bike accidents can be caused by a variety of reasons.

Eggers, "Getting on a bike that is too big for them or something they are not familiar with or riding a buddies bike they are not familiar with."

Derek McCormick has been riding for two years. He started out on a large bike and has moved up to an even larger one so his wife can ride with him. He sees a couple of reasons for bike accidents.

McCormick, "You've got to watch the motorist coming by you. Intersections, You've got to slow down and watch the intersections. Probably going too fast is probably one of the biggest reasons people have accidents."

"Look twice, save a life" signs are one way motorists are warned to watch for bikes. Eggers says there are too many distractions now for drivers and bikers need to be on their toes. "Cell phones, texting, watching the kids in the back seat, none of which involve looking out the windshield." He said. "If you are on a bike you have to ride more defensively now than you have ever rode before."

Marty Melton says these streets are mean.

Melton, "If you ride in these towns there's not a day go by that you won't have a close call with a vehicle. Stopping in front of you or pulling out in front of you."

The helmet issue is always a topic of heated debate. Eggers says he doesn't believe people should be forced to wear one, but he does, and it has served him well.

Eggers, "Both times I've actually had an accident my helmet came up skinned. I'd rather have my helmet skinned than my head skinned."

Let's all be careful out there.

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