How to prevent motorcycle accidents when on the road this summer

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HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - Motorcycle fatalities make up 10.8% of West Virginia's motor vehicle deaths according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Jim Satterfield, owner of The Twisted Spoke bike shop in Clarksburg, says speed is the biggest contributor to the accidents.

"Route 50 is 50mph through town and everybody does 70," said Satterfield. "That's part of a lot of it on the interstate too is people don't obey the law when it comes to speed limits."

Laws like always keeping your headlights on for visibility is one way the state is trying to make motorcyclists more visible.

Harrison County Sheriff Robert Matheny says the most important thing we can do is be aware of our surroundings.

"Number one we have to be aware that they're there," said Sheriff Matheny. "And as a motorcycle operator you have to be aware that sometimes there are blind spots, sharp curves, and different areas of the road that you have to make sure your presence is known."

Satterfied agreed, saying drivers need to be more aware but should never flag down a motorcyclist for fear of causing road rage.

"Sometimes people get the misconception of a biker or motorcyclist doing something aggressive just to get someone's attention, well then that person thinks they're being inconsiderate," said Satterfield.

Drivers should always check their blind spots for motorcycles before making any lane changes. And while there many things people can do to prevent accidents, Satterfield just asks everyone to keep a watchful eye out.

"Just watch out for motorcycles. There are a bunch of them out there, and we've had a lot of customers that come in that have been in accidents that have got real extremely hurt," said Satterfield.