#childsafety | 4 ways motorcycle riders can avoid wrecks, and 1 big way you can avoid hitting them

CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – Spring is here and, along with the warmer weather, that means a lot more motorcycles on the roads in Clarksville.

That will come with motorcycle wrecks, and there’s been a surge of them in recent weeks.

Here are motorcycle wreck statistics for the last three years, according to the Clarksville Police Department:

2021 so far: 18 crashes, 3 fatalities, 11 injuries.

2020: 137 crashes, 7 fatalities, 103 injuries.

2019: 112 crashes, 3 fatalities, 86 injuries.

Tips for motorcycle riders

Police Lt. Vincent Lewis with the Traffic and Parks Unit had several tips for motorcycle owners on ways to avoid being added to those stats.

1. Keep your bike in top operating order. “You want to check and make sure the bike is mechanically sound, that’s brakes, tires, lights, everything is in tip-top shape. These things are safety features for you and are going to protect you. Make sure you keep those in the best working order possible,” Lewis said.

2. Take a safety course. Lewis recommended that riders who are new to owning or being on a motorcycle take advantage of one of the motorcycle safety courses offered in Clarksville.

3. Wear a helmet. Tennessee law requires that motorcycle riders wear helmets, and Lewis said it’s plain and simple: a helmet saves lives. Lewis encouraged everyone to get a good, safe, helmet, not just what he called a cosmetic, thin-shell helmet.

4. Make yourself as visible as possible at all times. Lewis said do whatever you can to be more visible like wearing bright colors during the day so motorists can see you and wearing something light colored or reflective when you’re riding at night.

Look Twice Save a Life

As for all the other drivers sharing the road with motorcycles, there has been a campaign that has been around many years: Look Twice Save a Life. Lewis said he encourages drivers to look more than twice when pulling out into traffic or changing lanes.

Lewis added motorcycles are smaller and harder to see, they can accelerate quicker, change lanes faster, and a driver may not be aware that the bike is moving as fast as it is, which means it can be upon you before you know it.

“It’s incumbent for drivers to be alert, be on the lookout for motorcycles, scan your mirrors, it doesn’t take much for a motorcycle to disappear in a vehicle’s blind spot, and if you’re a rider don’t travel in a vehicle’s blind spot.” Lewis said.

On a final note, Lewis emphasized there are posted speed limits on the roadways in Clarksville for a reason, and motorcycle riders as well as drivers of all vehicles should follow those speed limits, slow down, stay alert, and never drive distracted or impaired.

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