Bikers Raising Awareness for Motorcycle Safety

Bikers Raising Awareness for Motorcycle Safety

By FOX 47 News. CREATED May 13, 2013

JACKSON-- As summer approaches and the temperatures rise, thousands of registered motorcycles in Michigan will emerge from their garages.

In 2012, motorcycle fatalities went up eighteen percent, according to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. Last years high fatality rate is why some local bikers are urging those on the road to take extra precautions this year, and they are using Motorcycle Awareness Month to get the word out.

"Safety is the number one concern. We want to see our families, and live the next day," said Jackson biker Chris Yeloushan.

In 2012, Michigan had one hundred twenty-nine motorcycle fatalities, the most the state has had in the past six years.

Since Michigan got rid of its Helmet Law in April of 2012, helmet use has dropped by twenty-five percent. It's unclear if lifting the helmet law has anything to do with the increase in motorcycle fatalities. Some local bikers, like Yeloushan, don't want to take the risk and urge all other riders in the state to do the same. The helmet is one of the few safety items motorcyclists can have.

"It's all about wearing the helmet," said Yeloushan.

"There's been so many crashes and accidents that people say they didn't see the motorcycle. We have to be more aware," said biker Gary Sternaman.

According to the DNV, vehicles should keep at a three to four second distance between them and a motorcyclist. Plus, motorcycles need to keep watch of their surroundings, especially if they are riding alone.

"It's nice when you are riding in a group because you're more visible than when you're by yourself," said Sternaman.

If you're one of the motorcyclists just taking your bike out of the garage, make sure to do a check-up before hitting the road.