Motorcycle deaths rise with popularity of bikes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Motorcycle deaths rise with popularity of bikes

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February 9, 2007

Albany -- In the past 10 years the number of motorcyclists killed on Georgia roads has tripled.   Most of those crashes were the result of a mistake-- not by the motorcyclists-- but by drivers of other vehicles.   

It's easy to hear some motorcycles, but it's not always so easy to see them.  "More motorists are injured and killed on the highway," says Charlie Hough of Flint River Harley Davidson.

In 2005, 144 motorcyclists died on Georgia roads, including some people Charlie Hough knew, like James and Jean Bozeman. "I think that's always a concern to all of us. That's the unfortunate side of selling any kind of a motor vehicle. You don't want any of your riders to ever get injured."

Sometimes the crash is caused by an error of the motorcycle driver, but more often than not, it's someone else's fault, because they never see the bike, until it's too late.  

"It's really hard to teach motorists, in general, that they have to look out for motorcycles... Older people don't see motorcyclists as well," Hough said.

So instead, Hough says the motorcyclists have to learn how to survive on the road. Helmets that protect and do more than meet the state requirements are a must. And Hough says every driver should take a safety course.

Riding a motorcycle is more than just the thrill of being on the bike. You need to keep safety first and foremost.

In addition to looking out for people who aren't looking out for you, what you wear is important. I wouldn't suggest high heels and there's a reason why all those bikers wear leather.

"We laugh a lot about black leather jackets but one of the reasons that people ride leather is it's a lot easier to have leather rub them on the pavement than it is your skin. So they're very much a protection device."

But the best protection is experience and training and watching out for the other guy.  

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