MSP Reminds Drivers, Motorcyclists of Safety Tips for the Road this Summer

With more motorcycles on the road, and the first ever Mackinaw City Motorcycle Rally this weekend, Michigan State Police want to make sure everyone stays safe.

“You’re one with the machine, you’re on the road, you feel free,” said Nicholas Bednarik, General Manager at Martin Powersports in Cadillac.

Bednarik has been riding motorcycles all his life.

“There’s something about being on two wheels,” he said. “It’s just kind of a passion that comes naturally to a lot of people.”

His number one rule when it comes to safely enjoying his rideswear a helmet.

“I always wear a helmet,” said Bednarik. “I know there’s a lot of riders that don’t because they want to feel more free, but because of road debris and bugs, and just the general safety of it, it feels good to wear a helmet when I’m riding.”

Michigan State Police Lieutenant Derrick Carroll rides motorcycles, too, and echos Bednarick’s tip.

“You’re 37% more likely to survive a crash if you’re wearing a helmet,” said Lt. Carroll. “Those statistics alone should make you want to put one on.”

Lt. Carroll says the number one cause for motorcycle-involved crashes is cars turning left in front of a bike.

“Distracted driving is something we focus on for traffic safety, but you throw in a motorcycle which is even more difficult to see,” he said.

On top of distracted drivers, he says 40%t of motorcycle crashes involve alcohol.

“One drink can impair your judgment and your ability to ride a motorcycle,” Lt. Carroll.

All drivers can follow these tips, especially, at the Motorcycle Rally this weekend in Mackinaw City.

“When you see a group of motorcyclists go by or making a turn, just allow them to go through and don’t try and break into the group,” said Lt. Carroll.

Bednarick says his number one request as a bike rider is that people pay attention while they drive.

“The biggest thing is stay off the cell phone, pay attention, and make sure you look twice,” said Bednarik. “Sometimes you don’t always see it because a bike’s a lot smaller.”