With warmer weather, troopers stress motorcycles, cars safely share the road

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – As we near the end of Motorcycle Safety Awareness month, we’re reminded of the many dangers. On Monday, a motorcyclist fell 20-30-feet down an embankment in Blount County.

The Blount County Sheriff’s Office saying the crash happened on Highway 129, a stretch better known as ‘The Dragon.’

More: Motorcycle goes down an embankment on ‘The Dragon’ in Blount County

THP troopers stressing the safety steps we should all be taking since state reports show that last year 168 people died in motorcycle crashes.

“They have no protection the way you and I do sitting in a normal vehicle,” said Lieutenant Don Boshears with THP.

Drivers need to be mindful when making lane changes, stopping at intersections, even slowing down or speeding up.

Lt. Boshears says drivers need to look and check their mirrors two to three times, “The blind spot you have with other vehicles is probably triple because they’re smaller.”

THP says drivers should do the following:

  • Always use a signal so that motorcyclists can anticipate where you’re going and find a safe spot
  • Give motorcycles a full lane width
  • Give plenty of following distance, three to four seconds, enough room for a motorcycle to stop in an emergency.

For motorcyclists, Lt. Boshears says they should always wear a helmet, never drive impaired and, “You just about have to be defensive. You have to expect that that car in the intersection isn’t going to see you and pull out in front of you. That way if they do, you’ll be halfway prepared and can hopefully avoid a collision.”

There are a number of Tennessee laws motorcyclists must follow:

  • A helmet is required
  • Daytime use of a headlight is required
  • Eye protection must be worn, unless a motorcycle is equipped with a windshield
  • A left and right side mirror are required
  • Lane splitting, or riding a motorcycle between two lanes of slow moving traffic going the same direction, is not legal in Tennessee

“We all got to share the roadways. We want everyone to be safe of course. Take that extra look, you never know,” added Lt. Boshears.

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