Two Putnam County men killed in motorcycle accidents over the last two weeks reinforces the importance of Motorcycle Awareness Month.
McMinnville Police Department Master Patrol Officer Andy Aguilar said accidents are most likely to happen when other drivers merge lanes.
“We need to ensure that we are actually turning to look at the lanes that we are merging into,” Aguilar said. “The reason being is because you have blind spots that no matter how small your car is or how large your review mirror and side view mirrors are you will still not be able to observe within those.”
Aguilar said motorcyclists need to practice defensive driving tactics. Aguilar said motorcycles are vulnerable on the roadway so avoid speeding, keep a safe distance between vehicles and also merge carefully.
“Motorcyclists are actually 27 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and five times more likely to be injured,” Aguilar said. “So it is very important that we minimize not only all wrecks but motorcycle to vehicle wrecks.”
Aguilar said as summer begins, more motorcycles will be on the roadways. Aguilar said in order to keep them safe, it will take a joint effort from the community and law enforcement.
“The job for law enforcement is to ensure that people who are recklessly driving that they are receiving some form of corrective action,” Aguilar said. “With that being said, the citizens have a role to play as well. We need to ensure that we are driving safely.”
McMinnville Police Department will do its part by increasing patrols this month, Aguilar said.