Motorcycle Accidents Means More Defensive Driving Needed

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

With Several accidents in the Permian Basin involving motorcycles, local police said they want drivers to be extra careful on the road. And as NewsWest 9 learned, bikers said it will help them too.

"I think they need to be more aware that there are a lot of bikes in this area, you know, there's a lot of riders. You could see them on Memorial Day ride. And there's a lot of bikes," explained Midland Resident Robby Pace.

Some advice for drivers Monday from Pace, who is a Harley-Davidson owner, after a couple of fatal motorcycle accidents this weekend. And while a lack a defensive driving may be to blame for the accidents, he said as a bike owner it is important to be aware of what other drivers are doing.

"I drove 18-wheelers for probably about 10 years now. So I am used to watching everybody, because they have a tendency to pull out in front of big trucks. You know, I kind of brought it over to the motorcycle. Every since I've been on it, I've been where I watch," said Pace.

Pace gave NewsWest 9 a chance to follow him on a quick ride around Midland. He and other bike owners said riding on one of these helps to better understand your depth perception.

"Now when I drive my truck, I look further down the road, to see what's going on. Where before I would just look at the bumper, you know, when you are on a motorcycle, you are doing that you are looking down the road, and look for the hazards, that are coming at you, where in a vehicle, you're just so complacent being behind the wheel you just drive and don't think about it," explained Donny Rivas, another local bike owner.

And that's a problem for Midland Police. Lieutenant Brian Bogart advises drivers to always be aware of just how far away other vehicles or bikes really are to you.

"You know, make sure you turn your head, like they used to teach us in the old drivers Ed school where you rode with a trooper and get your license. Turn your head and look, rather than just glancing each way with your eyes, because you're not going to pick up as much. You know you lose a lot of the depth perception that's real critical in determining whether this is a motorcycle close or a car that is further back," explained Bogart.

And for West Texas drivers, bikers ask that you always be aware of motorcycles on road.