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Tragedies Are A Stark Reminder of Safety for Motorcyclists
By Nancy E. Sheppard

StarkS imageYORK COUNTY – The county was shaken on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 with two tragic and fatal accidents. At approximately 2:40 P.M., Susan D. Sarro struck motorcyclist Gary Wade Massey on Lakeside Drive in Grafton. Massey was thrown off the road and was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. He died later that day from his injuries. Virginia State Police reported that Sarro has been charged with reckless driving.

At 8:45 P.M. that same day, 37-year-old Brent Reynolds of Hampton was turning left onto Coventry Boulevard when he struck motorcyclist, Hubert K. Peebles, who died at the scene.

The wake of these tragedies has been a startling reminder of the vulnerability of motorcyclists while out on the road. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. A motorcycle isn’t as recognizable on the road due to its low height and narrow profile. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation and Esurance provides the following guidelines when sharing the road with motorcyclists:

1. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into/out of a driveway, predict that a motorcyclist is closer than they look.

2. Motorcyclists slow down often by downshifting or rolling off the throttle. Therefore, there may not be any actual brake light. Allow more following distance with a motorcycle than you would with another vehicle.

3. Motorcyclists adjust their lane position not to be reckless, but to try to be more visible to other drivers.

4. Be aware before you turn. In 2013, 44% of 2-vehicle, fatal motorcycle accidents were the result of a car trying to turn left while the motorcycle was traveling straight (as was the case in the accident that killed Mr. Peebles).

5. Check your blind spots often. Motorcycles can fit easier into blind spots than other, four-wheeled vehicles.

6. Remain vigilant at all times while driving.

The tragic events of May 8th are a horrible reminder of the potential dangers that motorcyclists face each day while driving along our roads. It is our duty to remember to share the road and do what we can to prevent future tragedies.

If you have any questions, call the York- Poquoson Sheriff’s Office at 757-890-3630. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.

 





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