Motorcycle Riding Tips that Could Save Your Life - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson 05/30/04

Motorcycle Riding Tips that Could Save Your Life

By Mari Payton
mari@wlbt.net

Saturday night, a fatal accident in Ridgeland took the life of a motorcyclist while last Monday, a teenager is killed instantly in another motorcycle accident in Jackson.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says a motorcyclist is 16 times more likely to die in an accident than a car driver. Bike riders often have little or no protection in a collision. So what can riders do to prevent accidents?

Professional Motocyclist Benji Randall says  "A lot of times when you get comfortable with these bikes you gotta respect them. The minute you lose respect for the bikes, the bike will hurt you."

These men are professionals who perform in stunt shows.

But they say safety is a priority.  Randall adds "New drivers should be extra cautious. Back off a little bit. I've been riding these for 12 years and I didn't get to where I am now overnight."

Riders offer these safety tips:

Be cautious of your surroundings: watch out for other drivers and bikers. 

Pay attention to traffic: don't weave in and out of cars.

Watch your speed limit.

Slow down on curves, especially when merging in and out of traffic.

Avoid riding in the rain, even a light drizzle.

Ride with other motorcyclists when you can.

They also say to wear protective gear, including padded jackets , with lining on the arms and back, helmets and gloves.

They also say to wear secure shoes, like riding boots.

Randall says riders should be aware of motorcyclists.  "I think you should respect them. I mean a lot of times you don't get respect from car drivers, you know. I think they should respect the bike riders and give them a little room."

Local bikers say they are a family. They watch out for themselves and each other, in hopes that the next accident can be prevented. 

The month of May is designated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as Motorcycle Awareness Month.

Motorcyclists are urged to focus on highway and traffic safety issues.

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