(WKBN) – There have been a few serious crashes in the past few days involving motorcycles. There are some important tips on what bikers and drivers need to know when sharing the road.
We’re just days away from the official start of summer, and with things starting to open back up, traffic is getting back to normal.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding everyone to be on alert when sharing the road.
“Changing lanes is a huge issue. Make sure you take that second look in the mirror, quick look over your shoulder, before you make that lane change,” said Shaun Baskerville, OSP Assistant Post Commander.
Today, one of the biggest problems OSP sees is distracted driving.
“Make sure you’re not distracted by anything in the vehicle whatsoever. You really have to limit distracted driving, texting,” Baskerville said.
Motorcyclists are noticing it as well.
“Back when I started riding, texting was the big thing. It went on a lot. It wasn’t as bad as it was now,” said Adam Pratt of Youngstown Cycle and Speed.
Pratt says the distracted driving has gotten so bad that it’s caused some people he knows to stop riding altogether.
“You get cut off quite a bit. You have to watch, they pull out in front of you a bit. They literally just don’t see you,” Pratt said.
While OSP is reminding drivers to do their part, those riding should also do theirs.
Baskervill says he used to ride, and he learned to do it defensively.
“I would think of scenarios of what would happen if I come up here. What would happen if that car in front of me changed lanes abruptly,” Baskerville said.
Pratt also rides like that and says it’s important to not focus on the driver.
“Don’t stare at the person pulling out of the parking lot. You stare at the wheel of their car because that will tell you if the car is actually moving. You can’t assume that others see you,” Pratt said.
Which is why OSP and those riding are encouraging drivers to be aware of their surroundings and always take a second look.
“In a car, a small impact you might not even get hurt,” Pratt said. “On a bike, a small impact could kill us.”