Local motorcycle store owners urge drivers to put safety first

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Fatal motorcycle accidents have been popping up all over East Texas leaving many motorcycle owners and fans concerned.

While many people think motorcycles are cool and fast, they are also very dangerous. Riding motorcycles has become more of a social norm in the past decade, but it's also opened up a doorway for more wrecks.

"It's a great thing to do. I've done it for the majority of my life, but you have to understand that you put your life on the line when you get out on the highway," said Scott Wilcox, the owner of Cycle Heaven in Lufkin.

Wilcox says he has seen countless friends die in motorcycle accidents.

"That definitely changed my outlook, and perspective on motorcycle riding and it brought up several points with me. It doesn't have to be an automobile, it doesn't have to be a one vehicle accident and it can be anything. You have to expect the unexpected," said Wilcox.

Tom Moore, the parts and service manager at Texas Thunder Harley Davidson, says a lot of fatalities happen because riders don't follow the rules.

"I'm a firm believer that every time you get on a motorcycle you should be wearing ankle high boots, you should be wearing at least a half helmet, gloves aren't necessary, but they come in handy. It's a little bit easier to repair a motorcycle than a person," said Moore.

It doesn't matter if you are a brand new or seasoned rider, it's always important to put your helmet on before you get on the bike, Moore says.

"The motorcycle is a vehicle just like a car and they do carry the right of way. It is your job as a driver of the vehicle to keep an eye out on them and make sure they are not in your way," said Moore.

Wilcox says he loves to ride, but believes it's every riders job to remind themselves about the dangers of reckless driving.

"The car is always going to win. Once you get comfortable and relaxed to the point of throwing caution to the wind, you are in a very deadly situation. If you encounter a situation where there is a violent person in an automobile, give them the right of way. What do you have to prove at that point? They are going to win with that car. So give them the right of way. Let that get away from you," said Wilcox.

Both men say that it is also important to retake the state mandated rider safety course several times throughout your motorcycle career.

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