Experts push for motorcycle safety after deadly crashes

18 fatal crashes reported in Maine since start of 2022
Published: Jul. 2, 2022 at 5:17 AM EDT
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ALFRED, Maine (WMTW) - Motorcycle safety training experts are calling for drivers to stay alert and sober this Independence Day weekend.

Since the start of 2022, Maine has reported 18 deadly motorcycle crashes, according to the York County Sheriff’s Office, more than this point on the calendar than 2021 or 2020.

“Riding a motorcycle is a lot of fun. There is a sense of freedom, but you’re very vulnerable,” said John Kohler, the program coordinator for the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles motorcycle safety program.

In 2013, Kohler survived a crash on his bike that threw him about 100 feet on the interstate. He credits his helmet and leather jacket for saving his life and preventing more serious injuries.

Bentley Warren, who has been riding motorcycles for more than 70 years and owns Bentley’s Saloon, said distracted and impaired driving and riding are the two biggest threats on the road.

“You’ve got to ride your motorcycle like everyone is after you, even though they’re not,” Warren said. “You have to be ready to take evasive action in case something comes up you never expected.” He said drivers and riders should all take care to avoid distractions on the road.

Maine state law does not require riders to wear helmets, but Kohler encourages riders to wear them for added protection in the event of a crash.

Of the 18 people who died in motorcycle crashes this year, 12 were not wearing helmets, according to statistics from the York County Sheriff’s Office.

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