Amid rise in crashes, Fayetteville police offer motorcycle safety tips
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – In recent weeks we’ve seen several motorcycle crashes in Fayetteville. At least two of them resulted in biker deaths.
With warmer weather and summer quickly approaching, it highlights just some of the dangers on area roadways.
This is statistically one of the most dangerous times of the year for motorcycle riders.
“Some of the accidents we had seen are completely avoidable,” said Sgt. Larry Donegain, who leads the traffic enforcement unit at the Fayetteville Police Department.
“Unfortunately, a lot of the fatalities that we are seeing with motorcyclists is either due to speed. A lot of motorcycle riders either have their learner’s permit, and some of them don’t even have motorcycle endorsements,” Donegain said.
According to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, in 2020 Cumberland County had 10 deadly motorcycle accidents and 132 non-fatal. In Wake County, 13 people died from motorcycle accidents while there were 236 non-fatal accidents in 2020.
“By taking safety courses it gives you the opportunity to do the things that you need to do correctly,” Donegain said.
He urges bikers to wear proper safety gear, remain visible to traffic and control your speed.
“Your front brake is where your true stopping power is on your motorcycle. Just understanding your bike and understanding your braking is extremely important as well,” Donegain said.
He stressed that before you hop on a bike, you enroll in a bike safety program. North Carolina State Highway Patrol has a free bike safety program. To find out more go to NCDOT: BikeSafe North Carolina.
Here are a few AAA motorcycle safety tips.
As a driver:
- Be extra cautious on weekends, when more motorcyclists take the road.
- Provide motorcyclists adequate room to maneuver. Follow at least three to four seconds behind them.
- Allow extra maneuvering room in areas with potholes, pavement transitions and railroad crossings.
- Motorcyclists may need to slow down, stop or adjust their lane position.
- Never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Motorcycles have the same right to lanes as any other vehicle.
- If a motorcycle is nearby, check your mirrors carefully before changing lanes. Motorcycles may be in your blind spots or are difficult to see because of their smaller size.
As a motorcyclist:
- Keep headlights, markers and taillights on at dusk and in dark or rainy weather.
- Stay three to four seconds behind a vehicle you intend to pass, checking oncoming traffic from the left side of the lane, signaling the intention to turn, and then checking for oncoming traffic before passing.
- Check your rearview mirror and quickly turn your head to ensure the vehicle is a safe distance behind you when passing.
- Wear helmets that meet a high protection standard. Helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries in crashes; riders without helmets are three times more likely to have a brain injury as a result of a crash than helmeted riders.
- Wear proper clothing, eyewear and sturdy, closed-toe footwear.