Motorcycle safety tips straight from the street - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports


Motorcycle safety tips straight from the street

In 1973, Barry Eggers was riding his motorcycle through Arkansas when he hit a train.

"There were no lights on and the train came out from behind some seed bins at [a] stock yard, the lights weren't on. He was going 50 and I was going 50," Eggers recalls.

He was lucky and survived.

Nationwide, nearly 2,000 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2011. With high gas prices, the sales of motorcycles are up nearly seven percent -- which could mean a lot of inexperienced riders on the road.

Marty Melton has been riding bikes for nearly 30 years. He says you have to make the right purchase when you buy a bike.

"A lot of people just go and buy a big bike and they really don't know what they've got," he explains.

Inexperience can get you injured or killed. Eggers says single bike accidents can be caused by a variety of reasons.

"Getting on a bike that is too big for them or something they are not familiar with or riding a buddy's bike they are not familiar with," he lists.

Derek McCormick has been riding for two years. He started out on a large bike and has moved up to an even larger one so his wife can ride with him. He sees a couple of reasons for bike accidents.

"You've got to watch the motorists coming by you. Intersections, you've got to slow down and watch the intersections. Going too fast is probably one of the biggest reasons people have accidents," adds McCormick.

"Look twice, save a life" signs are one way motorists are warned to watch for bikes.

Eggers says there are too many distractions now and drivers and bikers need to be on their toes.

"Cell phones, texting, watching the kids in the back seat -- none of which involve looking out the windshield," he notes. "If you are on a bike, you have to ride more defensively now than you have ever ridden before."

Marty Melton says the streets are mean.

"If you ride in these towns, there's not a day that goes by that you won't have a close call with a vehicle stopping in front of you or pulling out in front of you," he says.

The helmet issue is always a topic of heated debate. Eggers says he doesn't believe people should be forced to wear one, but he does and it has served him well.

"Both times I've actually had an accident, my helmet came up skinned," he says. "I'd rather have my helmet skinned than my head skinned!"

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