Bikers Raising Awareness for Motorcycle Safety

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

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

In 2012 motorcycle fatalities went up 18 % 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. They're 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 motorcyclist Chris Yeloushan.

In 2012 Michigan had 129 motorcycle fatalities, the most the state has had in the past 6 years.

Since Michigan got rid of its Helmet Law in April of 2012 helmet use has dropped by 25%. 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 ask that 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 3-4 second distance between them and a motorcyclist. Motorcyclists also need to keep watch of their surroundings, especially if they are riding alone.

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

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

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Bob Location: Lansing on May 14, 2013 at 09:55 AM
    @Name - Have you talked with 'most motorists' and asked them why they didn't see a motorcycle? How many of the thousands of registered motorcyclists have you seen 'weaving in and out of traffic'? I see 10-15 motorcycles per day commuting to work and of those, 0-5 per month are 'driving like mad men' (btw - women drive too). @Ren - a helmet is NOT the only piece of safety equipment a rider has. Proper attire is also a good safety precaution.
  • by REN Location: Lansing on May 14, 2013 at 04:15 AM
    Why was the no helmet law passed in the first place? It makes no sense. The helmet is the only piece of safety equipment a rider has, yet it is not required. Head injuries are resopnsible for a vast majority of motorcycle involved deaths and crippling injuries. Motorists, who are fully contained in vehicles engineered for safety are required to use seat belts, and ticketed if they don't. Why does the nanny state ignore safety in one area, and micromanage it in another?
  • by Name Location: Location on May 13, 2013 at 07:11 AM
    It's funny how those of us in cars have to take extra precautions. It seems those in cars are always the one that get the blame when there is an accident. Usually it those on the motorcycles that I see driving like mad men, weaving in and out of traffic, squeezing between cars just to get ahead and then "gunning it" down the road. Maybe most motorists don't see the motorcycles because when they checked their mirrors 5 seconds ago to change lanes, that motorcycle was 200 yrds. back from them. 129 fatalities last year? where's the outrage to make helmets mandatory again, or to outlaw motorcycles. I think the argument has always been about choice? Well, while there's lifetime benefits for being critically injured in a motor vehicle accident in this state, you shouldn't get one. I should not have to pay extra because you think a helmet takes away from your "rebel bad boy" persona.
  • by Deb Location: Michigan on May 12, 2013 at 02:30 PM
    Why doesn't anyone proofread the articles published online? This article contains many punctuation and spelling errors.
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