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National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

HORSEHEADS (WENY) -- As the temperature warms up, unfortunately, so will the number of motorcycle accidents here in the Twin Tiers.  It's motor cycle safety awareness month and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is warning bikers and drivers to be alert.
     Richard Smith of Horseheads has had a motorcycle since he's been able to drive. He says almost everyone who rides has been injured or has a friend who has been.
     "Just the other day a friend and mine were coming north where lanes merge together and a driver was on his cell phone not paying attention. He cut right over and nearly clipped both of us, knocked both of our bikes over," said Richard Smith.
     The latest report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, shows that there's been a 7% decrease in rider deaths compared with 2012, but they say motorcyclist safety has not improved in fifteen years. According to the report, 2013 is only the second year over the past 15 that motorcycle deaths dropped.
     Richard Smith says he's had to come to a sliding stop more than once.
     "I've literally have had to lay my bike down to avoid hitting a car that's pulled out of a driveway," said Smith.
     New York State Police in Horseheads have responded to motorcycle accidents in Steuben, Schuyler, Yates, and Chemung Counties. The statistics are staggering. There have been 96 motorcycle accidents from January 2012 to May 2014. 75 drivers had injuries and 5 were killed. 
     In Pennsylvania, motorcycle riders aren't required to wear a helmet, unless they are younger than 21.
      AAA has some suggestions for motorcyclists and motorists to make sure the roads are safe for everyone here: http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/motorcycle-safety/