Preventing Motorcycle, Scooter Accidents a Matter of Awareness

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    By Ryan Taylor

    In March a BYU student, driving a scooter died of injuries suffered in an accident with an SUV.

    Adam Cox was riding in the outside lane of University Parkway just behind a car that was driving in the inside lane when an SUV going the opposite direction, turned left and hit Cox, said Capt. Michael Harroun, of the BYU Police Department.

    Just like Cox”s case, most motorcyclists are not at fault when accidents happened, Harroun said.

    “But they will get the worst of it,” he said.

    Even though Cox was wearing a helmet, he suffered severe head trauma and died after being taken to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.

    Harroun still stresses the importance of wearing proper headgear. He also said students could avoid road rash by wearing proper clothing.

    “People who ride scooters don”t think they need the same precautions as motorcyclists,” said Dave Hurtado, owner of The Scooter Lounge in Orem. “It is not smart to ride in open-toed shoes and sandals.”

    Scooter riders should wear leather or textile jackets just like motorcyclists, Hurtado said. Some might be deterred because of fashion but Hurtado said textile jackets can be very stylish.

    “I would like to see more people dressing better,” he emphasized.

    Hurtado also knew Adam Cox and he said he was devastated when he heard about the accident.

    “When collisions happen, there is no substitute for being inside a vehicle,” Hurtado said. “But you can avoid collisions.”

    When it comes to avoiding accidents, Hurtado said driving a scooter is different than driving a car and some things pertaining to a scooter can be used as advantages.

    Scooters are smaller so there is more space to avoid vehicles.

    “Scooters can stop fast and maneuver faster,” Hurtado said.

    Most accidents happen when owners lend their scooters to friends who don”t know what they are doing, Hurtado said.

    Cpl. Rick Ralston, an Orem Police motor officer, patrols Orem on his police motorcycle. He said motorcyclists should always wear a helmet and always drive defensively.

    “Drive like people can”t see you,” Ralston said.

    He said motorcyclists must check and recheck before changing lanes.

    “Do not just check the mirrors; turn and look when you change lanes,” he said.

    Try not to drive in the middle of the lane because that is where the oil collects and it can be slick, Ralston said. Slow down when it is raining. The most dangerous time is right after the rain begins. The rain and the oil make the road”s surface extremely dangerous.

    By law, scooter riders and motorcyclists are required to get an endorsement on their driver”s license that requires a written and driving test to be taken at the DMV.

    Ralston said those who drive cars and trucks should keep their eyes open for motorcyclists.

    “Realize there are more motorcycles on the road, so watch for them,” he said.

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