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Sharing the Road with Motorcyclists

Tips to help keep motorcyclists and motorists safe.

FREDERICK, MD - Officer Scott Shepardson rides on his own time and also rides a motorcycle patrolling for the Frederick Police Department.

He says in all his years riding, one of the thing hes learned is that experience is what makes you more aware. He says you must take a safety riders education course before hitting the road.

“Be aware of your surroundings. You have to make sure you're not staying in someone's blind spot. Don't just hang out next to an 18-wheeler. It's not that he's intentionally riding you off the road, you’re just in his blind spot,” says Officer Scott Shepardson of the Frederick Police Department.

In 2012 the number of traffic fatalities dropped by 23 percent in the State of Maryland, but those involving motorcycles, went up by about 20 percent. Officials say that number could have possibly been lower, if more people would wear helmets.

“Wearing a helmet is really important. Most motorcycle fatalities, 60 percent of fatalities are from head injuries. A lot of people think they [helmets] cause injuries, but they actually do save your life, and wearing a helmet is the most important piece of equipment you'll have riding a motorcycle,” says Riders Education Coach Matt Henson.

“They do save lives. Also, wearing a helmet and then shorts and flip flops, yeah, your head is going to be good, but I've seen many pictures of people scarred from the neck down,” says Officer Shepardson.

Officials say motorcyclists need to be extra careful while turning left, because that’s when most motorcycle injuries occur. They say most drivers say they just didn’t see the rider.  

“We are the little people on the road. Everybody else is in cars, trucks, tractor trailers, people don't like to see us. So, a lot of times from a safety aspect wear the proper clothing, bright reflective clothing, on your helmet is best. Anything you can do to make your bike stand out,” says Jeff Shadoan, parts managers at Harley Davidson of Frederick.

The MVA says in 75 Maryland Motorcyclists died last year.

For more information you can head to the MVA’s Website or Harley Davidson of Frederick

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