Bikers call for motorcyclists and vehicle drivers to pay attention on the road
After two deadly motorcycle crashes in the last two weeks here in Springfield, riders are speaking out, asking both motorcyclists and other drivers to be more careful.
Sunday a man died when his motorcycle was hit by a car on W. Kearney Street. Nine days earlier a motorcycle rider died when a semi served in front of him on E. Division. Two avid bikers said they have to watch out for other drivers when they're riding anywhere, but especially on busy city streets.
"You drive, you should watch out for motorcycles. Motorcycles, should watch out for cars, so it kind of goes both ways," said Michael Ngo, a biker and owner of Vintage Biker Gear.
Ngo has been riding motorcycles for 15 years. He said, even now, he's never fully comfortable out on the road.
"Always watch my back, always look in my rear mirror to make sure, if there's a car behind me, it's not going too fast or didn't see me and hit be from behind," he said.
Ngo keeps riding for the thrill, but he's aware of the risk.
"When they hit me, the chance is, I might lose my life," Ngo said.
That's why Eric Landsdown teaches new riders to be defensive drivers through Ozarks Technical Community College's motorcycle safety course.
"You're on a motorcycle with no protection around you. You're not in a car with a cage around you. You're vulnerable," Landsdown said.
A motorcycle enthusiast himself, Landsdown said he, too, is always on high alert.
"Just watching what people are doing when they're pulling onto a highway, and I'm running down it. I'm trying to anticipate, are they going to pull out in front of me, are they going to switch lanes over on me," Landsdown said.
Landsdown said motorcycles can be harder to see for drivers of cars and trucks.
"So they do need to look twice. Look in your blind zone for that motorcycle when he's passing you on a four lane highway out there," he said.
Ngo said the open road has room for all of us, if we all would simply pay attention.
"I say, be careful. Everybody please watch out for everybody," he said.
Ngo said, a lot of times, vehicle drivers don't realize how fast a motorcycle can be traveling, so bikers need to watch their speeds inside city limits.
For those driving cars and trucks, make sure you're using your turn signal and checking your blind spot before changing lanes.