Motorcycle Safety Day

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jared Duhon
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
With the warm, sunny weather fast-approaching, people are beginning to participate in outdoor activities such as camping, boating and day trips to the beach. With all the extra traffic on the road, one summer activity becomes more dangerous: riding motorcycles.

For these and other reasons, the 436th Airlift Wing Safety team hosted the 8th Annual Motorcycle Safety Day April 26, 2013, at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

Hundreds of people die or are injured each year due to the lack of training, personal protective gear or improper bike maintenance. All of these factors are preventable.

"The hope is that Motorcycle Safety Day helps people learn about how to be safe and coexist safely with motorcyclists," said Master Sgt. John Willard, 436th Airlift Wing Safety NCO in charge of flight safety. "We planned Motorcycle Safety Day to be the last Friday in April to kick off Motorcycle Awareness Month in May for the state of Delaware."

The popularity of motorcycles has grown in the last few years due to many factors. Informing everyone about motorcycles is a high priority and Motorcycle Safety Day is a start.

"I think it's a really good thing, because of all the information lacking on motorcycles from a cars driver's point of view," said Dwight Dillard, Delaware state employee. "Before my wife and I rode we didn't really understand why they did some of the things they did, and the more you can teach and educate people about bikes it's going to be a benefit for everybody."

The last two years Motorcycle Safety Day has been host to an 18-wheeler from Wal-Mart. It is a significant tool utilized to demonstrate to motorcyclists where the blind spots are on a tractor trailer.

"I think the truck is the best display we have," said Willard. "Being able to see what truck drivers see helps riders stay out of their blinds spots. I don't want to do an event without them because I believe it is such a huge game changer."

Knowing the blind spots on large vehicles can be critical to survival on the roads. The biggest killer of motorcyclists is experience, or the lack thereof.

Common themes we have found between motorcycle mishaps are poor choices and failure to control the bike in emergency situations. We hope to overcome these themes with support and help from the motorcycle community, education and hands on events to gain that experience, said Willard.

The all day event was not just about information and learning, but also gave riders a chance to enjoy the different aspects of motorcycling.

"It's pretty fun and it gives you experience with different types of bikes," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Brumbaugh , 436th Operation Support Squadron air traffic control specialist radar approach control. "Also, it can be a good experience for people who are just thinking about buying a bike."