ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – To motorcyclists, nothing beats strapping on the helmet, popping that clutch, and taking off on the open road.
That freedom to hit the open road comes with responsibilities for both bikers and automobiles.
Bikers know they have to share the road with all those cars out there. They have a message for drivers, if you’re only looking for cars, you’ll only see cars.
You hear it often in the headlines, motorcycle crashes taking lives in the Capital Region. It’s how Norm Hagar lost his wife Paula last May.
“An RPI student turned right in front of me at the last second. Emotionally I was wrecked. Even financially the burden was unbelievable. My daughter lost her best friend. Of course, the pain is forever,” Hagar said.
According to AAA, cars making left–hand turns are one of the most dangerous situations for motorcyclists.
Even with DMV approved helmets and proper gear, bikers are still vulnerable on the road.
“The vast majority of collisions between cars and motorcyclists, are cars pulling out in front of the motorcycle,” Michael Sweeney, Traffic Safety Educator at AAA Hudson Valley, said. “One of the things I always have to remind people is, as a driver of a car, you’re propelling nearly two tons of vehicle down the road. So you are always going to be held to a higher standard.”
That’s why Harley Davidson and other groups urge drivers to keep an eye out for motorcyclists.
Riders themselves are also warning each other against riders popping wheelies.
Jeff burns is still recovering after being hit from behind while on his motorcycle. He says it’s not worth it.
“It was one of the scariest moments of my life. It’s dangerous and you just have to really pay attention,” Burns said.
Fifty years ago, New York became the first state to require motorcyclists to wear a helmet. The state served as a model for laws in other states.