LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Lawton Police Department is putting the focus on motorcycle safety.
The department says, especially during the summer, there are more bikers present on the road, and they can sometimes be hard to see.
Officer Collin Ney said driving a motorcycle automatically means more pressure, because you have to constantly monitor other drivers, and many times those drivers aren’t doing the same for you.
“You have to look out for people that aren’t paying attention, and any motorcyclist can see when they go by, you can see in somebody else’s car that they are always on their cell phone. So if they change lanes, you have to be able to react to it, or slow down,” said Officer Collin Ney.
Ney said one statistic always on the back of his mind is how much more life threatening an accident on a motorcycle can be.
“Motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to be in a fatality crash than regular motorists," said Ney.
“Unfortunately you have to be a defensive driver. When you are coming up to an intersection, instead of driving through like a normal car, you have to look all directions when you pull up on a motorcycle. Half the accidents on motorcycles happen in intersections,” said Jake Ratliff, the GM at Harley Davidson.
During summer months, motorcycles are more present on roadways, and the heat is also something motorcyclists need to watch out for.
“If you get sun burnt on a long trip, and you start getting dehydrated, your awareness goes down, and you aren’t able to keep up the same level of riding,” said Ney.
“The elements are tough on a motorcycle,” said Ratliff.
Both Ney and Ratliff said the biggest thing riders can do to maximize safety is through their gear.
“Oklahoma’s not a helmet required state but it’s always good to ride with a helmet,” said Ratliff.
“A helmet will save a lot of lives, and a lot of injuries, so I would say always wear a helmet," said Ney.
If anyone is interested in motorcycle safety training, classes are offered at Great Plains Technology Center, and on Ft. Sill for military members.