One way car and truck drivers can be safe around motorcycles is to simply exercise more caution and never tailgate a motorcycle. Submitted photo.
continued Montimurro also said no matter what kind of vehicle is involved in a crash, there is a common denominator.
“Hands down, unsafe speed is a factor in the vast majority of crashes,” he said.
Demographically, those in the 30 to 59 age group who drive cruiser model motorcycles (larger bikes) are over represented in crash data.
Zadrozny suggests one way car and truck drivers can be safe around motorcycles is to simply exercise more caution.
“Never tailgate a motorcycle ... there’s no such thing as a fender bender for a motorcycle. What could be a minor inconvenience between two cars could be fatal to a motorcyclist,” he said.
Approximately 44 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes in New York are a single vehicle accident. An estimated 52 percent of motorcycle crashes involved two vehicles.
“Historically, the trend of speed accounting for motorcycle fatalities tends to be consistent,” said Montimurro. “New York tends to mirror what we’re seeing nationwide.”
Both Zadrozny and Montimurro agreed driver distractions such as texting also play a part in many motorcycle accidents.
The Capital District has already seen several motorcycle tragedies this riding season. In June, a Clifton Park woman was killed when her motorcycle was run over by a dump truck. Police said she’d maneuvered the bike in front of the truck at a red light and the driver was unaware she was there. Days earlier, a Ballston Spa man lost his life when he lost control of his motorcycle and careened off the road.
The law in New York
To operate a motorcycle legally in New York, drivers must first have an automobile driver’s license. To get the motorcycle designation, they must take a New York State driver’s test for motorcycles or take the basic rider course.
“The basic rider course is preferable because we practice lifesaving techniques like braking with both brakes efficiently … and swerving when braking is no longer an option,” said Zadrozny. “It’s the gold standard for motorcycle safety training.”