It's that time of year when many drivers are starting to see motorcycles on the road again. With Idaho being one of the top places to ride, officials want to remind drivers and motorcyclists to be safe and aware when driving. More than four thousand fatalities occur each year in the United States. Summer Joy talks to friends and family that have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident and to find out what drivers and riders need to know.
"So its in memory of our friend, Jan Harris-Baline, who past away in a motorcycle accident last year. This year all the money will be donated to local autism awarness in memory of Jan," said Katina Kienlen, the Co-owner of Bonneville County Choppers.
Bonneville County Choppers has a fundraiser each year; this year it was dedicated to Jan to help bring awareness about motorcycle safety and autism.
Between 73 and 75 percent of the time fatalities are associated with rider error. This weekend Idaho Star held a free skills demonstration class at Action Motor Sports to help reduce those statistics.
"Car drivers are used to looking for cars, we have been trianed to do that and we have been doing that for years. We haven't seen motorcycles for six months, so just look twice before changing lanes or puling out. Take an extra couple of seconds to look twice, not just to see if there is a car coming, but ask, is it clear and is it safe to go," said Stace "Ax" AxMaker, Director of Idaho Star Motorcycle Safety Program.
Ax says that between 68 and 72 percent of the time accidents happen to riders over 40 years of age and on cruisers or touring bikes.
"A lot of people think its young kids on sport bikes going to fast, but what we find is men over 40 riding cruisers running wide in turns. Cornering and braking skills show up a lot in those statistics; which is why we just released a three hour cornering and braking class for endorsed riders, added Ax.
The Idaho Start program helps you develop the physical skills as well as the mental strategies needed to keep you safe while teaching you in a controlled, off street environment.
"Our goal is to have riders not crash and get riders home safe to their loved ones after every ride. That's what we do and why we do it," said Ax.
A few tips from Idaho Star include: wear good quality protective gear, keep your eyes up, ride sober, and take a rider training course. Star training is also associated with a 79 percent reduced crash risk and an 89 percent reduction in the risk of a fatal crash.
Idaho star's main goal is really to help riders realize that it's not just your life that gets affected when you ride.
"My son is here for this event and he is three, what happens to me also happens to him. My wife is home today, what happens to me also happens to her. So maybe it's just me on the bike, but my family is affected by whatever happens to me on a bike and that's one of the reasons I gear up from head to toe," said Ax.
"I've been riding a long time and I've seen and smelled and been around things that you could never do inside of a car, that's one good thing about it. Being a new rider, get out and see some of these old guys out here that have riden a long time and learn how to do it properly and be safe," said Matt Bates, a biker and friend of the Bonneville County Choppers.
For more information about Idaho Star you can click on the link below. http://idahostar.org/