Experts provide safety tips following string of fatal bike-related accidents around Connecticut

Tom Ferraro, who teaches both driving and riding at Tom's Driving School in Greenwich, told News 12 that the numbers seem to go up around this time every year since people are not used to seeing bikes on the roads during the colder months.

Greg Thompson

Jun 12, 2024, 2:23 AM

Updated 40 days ago

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With at least five bike-related accidents around Connecticut recently, some of which were fatal, experts say there are things that everyone on the road could be doing better.
Tom Ferraro, who teaches both driving and riding at Tom's Driving School in Greenwich, told News 12 that the numbers seem to go up around this time every year since people are not used to seeing bikes on the roads during the colder months.
"Now they're coming out and they have to be dealt with a little different than a car driver following another car driver," Ferraro says. "Now there has to be more space, you have to be more alert."
While more space from car drivers can help, some of the recent accidents did not have a car involved, and police say they seemed to happen because the rider lost control.
While Ferraro says a lot of things can lead to a crash, inexperience can often be a factor, especially if people try to go too quickly around a turn, without understanding that they need to follow "a routine."
In Connecticut, all new riders are required to take a motorcycle safety course, but those older than 17 are not legally required to wear a helmet.
Despite that, Ferraro says he would never ride without one.
Joel Richard, who operates his own motorsports company, agrees, because "you don't get a prize for looking pretty on your motorcycle.”
“Your only prize is you make it home at the end of the day and spend it with your family," he said.
Robert Sanchez, the general manager of Riley Motorcycles in Stamford, says whenever someone buys a new bike, one of the first things he does is offer them a helmet also.
"It's the one thing that you can control as a rider, and it's the one thing that's really going protect your life," he explains.
Even if someone already has a helmet, Sanchez still recommends they consider a new one, since "people don't realize that helmets expire over time.”
“They generally have a four to five year limit on it, and the reason that happens is because the shells become brittle, so they're not as protective,” he said.
Beyond the helmet, both Sanchez and Ferraro also say that getting the right jacket can be just as important.
While the helmets and jackets can run a few hundred dollars each, Sanchez says people should try to avoid skimping and getting cheap gear, because the more expensive ones do hold up better, and could be the difference.


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