HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – There’s always a risk when it comes to being on the road. Whether you drive a car or ride a motorcycle, safety is important.

Local motorcycle riders discussed riding motorcycles at Dave’s Custom Cycles, a local motorcycle shop in downtown Henderson. The general consensus on the topic of safety on the road was that a good portion of the danger is due to cars themselves. According to statistics on motorcycle accidents in 2022, almost 75% of motorcycle crashes involve a collision with a vehicle.

More often than not, cars will not see a rider. Dave Perez, the owner of the shop, said a large part of that is because drivers are too distracted by their phones and won’t check twice before changing lanes or making a turn.

“Drivers are too distracted inside their car with their phones or the new television screens they are putting in cars,” Dave said. “Just put the phone down, cover the TV and pay attention to the road.”

It is clear he is very passionate about riding, pointing out that he spends more time riding a motorcycle than most people spend driving cars. He calls it wind therapy, enjoying his freedom of choice. He proudly showed off his favorite motorcycle to reporters in his shop.

Pam Perez, the wife of Dave added how drivers often complain about how loud motorcycles are. She explained that drivers might not see them so riders make sure they can hear them, “Loud pipes save lives,” she said.

She says it is important it is for riders to always “act invisible,” in other words be alert at all times. Helmets, she says, tend to restrict a riders hearing and vision, which is why a lot of riders don’t wear them.

Riding attire is also important according to Pam, most riders don’t think about wearing proper gear to protect their skin in the event of a crash.

Her advice? Don’t dress to impress because road rash is not pretty or fun. “Dress to slide, not to ride.”

What also saves lives is educated riders. Even as a passenger, it is smart to know even the basics of motorcycle riding and safety just in case something happens to the main rider operating the motorcycle. The passenger can at least maneuver the bike to the side of the road out of harm’s way.

The Indiana State Police (ISP) offer some safe driving/riding tips to keep everyone safe as they share the road:

  • Drivers
  • Watch out for motorcycles in blind spots before changing lanes and use your turn signal to safely indicate your change.
  • Check twice at intersections before turning or pulling out into traffic.
  • Be careful when turning left. Most crashes between cars and motorcycles happen then.
  • Obey all traffic laws.
  • Be sure to share the road by giving riders enough space.
  • Don’t drive distracted, whether it be a phone or food, it can wait.
  • Riders
  • Wear protective equipment, ISP recommends a helmet with a face shield.
  • Wear bright clothing or reflective tape to be more visible
  • Use headlights at all times.
  • Always use turn signals.
  • Check your motorcycle before riding for any equipment malfunctions.
  • Always be alert looking for road hazards.

ISP reminds everyone to be careful on the road, “It only takes a second to save a life.”