Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Bill Novak enjoys a ride on his motorcycle on Interstate 81 northbound between Polkville and Cortland in this file photo.
Motorcycle safety efforts revved up
With winter in the past and the hint of summer-like temperatures resonating in the air, covers are being pulled off stored motorcycles and bikes are being fired up for the first time this year.
While motorcycles provide a sense of freedom and excitement for those who ride them, that enjoyment also comes with a sense of danger.
In 2014, there were 4,586 peo-ple killed in motorcycle crashes, down 2.3 percent from the previous year, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But the number of people injured in a motorcycle crash increasedby 4.5 percent from 2013 (88,000 people) to 2014 (92,000 people).
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month, intended to encourage motorcyclists and motorists to be more alert and aware of each other.
Mistakes that lead to motorcycle accidents tend to be made by other motorists, Cortland City Police Lt. David Guerrera said. Accidents occur most when car drivers aren’t paying attention — texting, looking in the mirror, etc. But Guerrera said one problem for motorists is that motorcycles are harder to see at times because of their smaller size.
“Motorcycles tend to appear to be going slower than normal when you see them in your mirror,” Guerrera said.