Extra caution urged with more motorcycles on roads - abc27 WHTM

Extra caution urged with more motorcycles on roads

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It's that time of the year for motorcycles to have more of a presence on the highways. Safety is one of the prime concerns of motorcycle riders, but sometimes it seems to them that cars and trucks are not as careful as they should be.

Vonnie Smith says there are things car and truck drivers do on the road that make her a bit uneasy when she is on her motorcycle.

"When people come up really close behind me," she said. "People who are texting behind the wheel are kind of scary."

There are many vehicular maneuvers that make riders nervous.

"Quite often they'll go from a right lane to a left lane without looking in the mirror or clicking a second time," said Alex Grabiec of Liverpool. "And a lot of times motorcyclists will be caught off guard by that driver going into another lane."

Tug Sassa of Harrisburg thinks many drivers have their perception thrown off by the size of a motorcycle.

"You see a car coming at you and it's a big SUV. It's easy to tell roughly how fast they're going," he said, "but with a bike being smaller like it is, sometimes they're right on top of you before you realize you're pulling out right in front of them."

On a bike, you have to be focused.

"You're always aware," said Smith. "You're always watching what's going on, definitely paying attention. I pretend I'm invisible, that people really can't see me."

And many times they don't. Being on two wheels is expecting someone to do something stupid.

"I constantly watch the lanes and I watch the motorists and I try to anticipate their moves and I always make sure I have an avenue of escape in the event that something bad happens," Grabiec said.

There are free courses to teach you how to ride. Smith took one.

Grabiec, meanwhile says there is a safety ride-along course being offered by Fort Indiantown Gap. They will ride this Saturday at 10 a.m. from the Gap, and go down to Gettysburg and back. It's designed to help members of the National Guard ride more safely, but the public is more than welcome.

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