FORT SILL, OK (KSWO) -Approximately 250 soldiers and civilians hit the road on Fort Sill Friday for the annual Freedom's Thunder Motorcycle Safety Rally.
It was a time for riders to get reminded of the dangers that come along with riding a motorcycle. Eight motorcycle wrecks involving soldiers have already in 2016, most recently on Thursday. Six of those wrecks occurred in a three-week span, and two on the same day.
"He moved over on me, and so I went into a breakdown lane that was under construction. I was ejected from the bike. Two hours later, I came to," explained Terry Smith.
Smith was talking about his own experience of being involved in an accident. Even though he was wearing the proper reflective gear, the vehicle still didn't see him. That's why the rally included a safety briefing where riders, like Smith, were shown previous accidents and how they could have possibly been avoided by using common sense.
"Make sure you maintain the proper speeds out there. Even though your bike may be able to do 100 mph, it might not be safe to do speeds of that and then follow all the road signs," said Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Lindsey.
Once the briefing was over, the motorcyclists began their 71-mile ride where they had three stops along the way where they had to pass a quiz.
At each stop, motorcyclist can answer up to three questions to be entered into a raffle. They only get the raffle ticket if they answer the question correctly. This gets them an opportunity to know their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to motorcycle safety.
"Why does the wildlife refuge have reduced speed limits in the highway?"
"Wildlife cross roads?"
Smith thinks having the safety rally is a good idea for two reasons.
"One is that it shows the community that motorcyclists are out there and it gets experienced riders with not experienced riders together, and that way they can learn from each other," Smith said.
During Fort Sill's summer campaign, they have been warning drivers to be aware of the increased number of motorcycles on the road, now that the weather is getting warmer.