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Local riders stress motorcycle safety

Riding motorcycles is a fun and fuel efficient way to travel but it can also be dangerous.

Quincy resident Jordan Richie has been riding motorcycles for the last seven years. 

"I’ll try to ride it as much as I possibly can," said Richie.

By this point, Richie knows the ins and outs of the rules of road on two wheels, but it’s not always easy to predict the actions of other drivers. In fact, minutes after we talked a car pulled out right in front of Richie, missing him by just a few feet. 

"It’s definitely a nerve-wracking moment," said Richie. "You look back and see what would’ve gone differently but you think that you stop in time and didn’t get in that wreck."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one out of every nine traffic fatalities involves a motorcycle.

Andrew Smith is the general manager of Smith Brothers Honda and says motorcycles can blend in with other traffic, making them harder to spot. 

"I think the big thing nowadays is technology, whether it be phones or messing with CD players or taking your eyes off the road," said Smith. "It’s easy to miss a motorcycle so if you take your eyes off the road for a second of two it could be a fatal."

Back on the road, Richie asks drivers to double, even triple check just to make sure a motorcycle isn’t in your way. 

"In a car you have seat belts, airbags and a lot of safety features," said Richie. "In a car these days you’re most likely not going to get hurt or walk away with a scar, head concussion. On a motorcycle you really have nothing. There’s no seat belts, no airbags. If you decide to wear a helmet, that’s what’s going to protect your head, nothing else is there."

There is no helmet law in Iowa and Illinois. They are the only two states where a helmet is not required by law. 

In Missouri all riders have to wear a helmet. 

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