New Federal Data Shows Motorcycle Deaths Up

REGION 8 - Ask any motorcycle enthusiast and they're likely rattle off a number of reasons they enjoy hitting the open roads .. on a hog.

"Just getting out. Relaxing, forgetting about everything. On days like this here, it's nice to ride," said motorcycle rider Mark Shavers.

When it comes to wearing a helmet, however, Shavers says he's not consistent about putting one on and most riders he knows don't either.

"Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Just depends on what kind of mood I'm in," he said.

According to the Department of Transportation, which recently revealed figures showing motorcycle deaths have more than doubled over the last 10 years, one of the major reasons is the lack of wearing a helmet on the part of the rider.

Fred Wilson is the Sales Manager for Jonesboro's Harley-Davidson Dealership. He says there's another reason for the increased number of motorcycle fatalities ... other drivers may not even see a motorcyclist in the roadway.

"We see it everyday," said Wilson. "Cars don't yield to motorcycles very much."

One way to protect yourself, so you won't be an un-easy rider ...

"You could install a modulator," said motorcyclist Jerry Myers. "If they don't see the headlight with the modulator it's jsut because they weren't looking."

Wilson says most bikes nowadays come with built-in safety lighting.

"It does draw attention," Wilson said. "With our products we have the light kits and the extra lights on the front where there's up to three bright headlights on it. You can't help but see them coming at you."

If you've never driven a motorcycle and let's say you just bought one, there's a required course you must take, similar to the one you take when you're learning how to drive.

Also, there's a new push to make labeling requirements for helmets. Most of them are Department of Transportation certified but some called novelty helmets are not.

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