As temperatures warm, more motorcyclists are travelling Kentucky Roads. Eastern Kentucky University played host Monday to the first International Rider Education Training System conference.
Distracted driving is a major safety issue which can pose an even greater risk to those Kentuckians riding on two wheels. Motorcycle Safety Foundation vice president Rob Gladden says texting while driving takes on a whole different meaning for cyclists.
“In the United States, distracted driving, particularly cell phones is the fast emerging trend in highway fatalities and crashes. And motorcyclists without that steel cage around them are particularly vulnerable roadway users. So that’s why we’re asking people in cars, put down the phone, pay attention to what you are doing,” said Gladden.
With gasoline prices hovering around four-dollars a gallon, expect more motorcycles on the road this summer. Until the economy soured, Gladden says sales records for new bikes were broken year after year.
“You’ve got more out there than ever and now that you’re seeing gas prices climbing, people are gonna’ be on their bikes, you know most motorcycles you can get 40-50-60 miles to the gallon on a lot of motorcycles. So that’s a great savings for commuting, for pleasure for getting around town. So you’re gonna see more and more of them out there, especially with the warmer weather,” added Gladden.
The training curriculum is used in 48 states. One of the big safety improvements within recent years, are anti-lock brakes.
“In Europe, it’s becoming mandated and so we may see it go that direction here, but since it’s becoming more popular and prevalent on the road, we want to make sure the students we teach are prepared to get the most out of those systems,” explained Gladden.
Gladden says there are close to ten thousand coaches in the U-S who teach rider safety.