MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Evel Knievel once said,”There are old bikers and there are bold bikers, but there are no old, bold bikers.” Over the week, thousands of two-wheeled enthusiasts will travel to Morgantown and safety is a big concern for local officials.
Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said, “Be on the lookout for motorcycles, remember motorcycles generally slow down by downshifting and don’t hit their brakes as much so they stop in shorter distances than cars do so give that extra following room.”
Riders come from many states that don’t offer the mountainous terrain, so it’s important for four-wheeled vehicles to share the roads with two-wheelers, some who are not familar with the surroundings.
Regarding motorcyclists Preston said, “We encourage the motorcyclists to be as visible as they possibly can, make sure they wear reflective gear while traveling at night and at all times wear their helmet. Not only is it the law, but it can also save your life.”
Here are some statistics from the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles:
1. In West Virginia, 10.5 percent of all traffic accident fatalities are motorcycle riders, as compared to 13.7 percent nationwide.
2. Among motorcyclists killed in West Virginia, 31.9 percent had a blood alcohol content level of .01 or higher. The national average is 38 percent.
3. Speed was a primary factor in 23.9 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in the state. The national average is 39.4 percent.
4. The common factors attributed to motorcycle crashes in West Virginia were speeding and failing to stay in your lane.