Motorcycle Training Helps Keep the Roads Safer this Spring - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Motorcycle Training Helps Keep the Roads Safer this Spring

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RICHLAND, Wash.-- This sunny spring weather often inspires many people to leave their car in the garage and hop on their motorcycle.

But law enforcement says there are added safety risks that motorcycles pose when they hit the roads.

A motorcycle can be fun, but it can also be deadly.

Motorcycle instructors say to stay safe on the bike, riders need to be alert and use their head more than their vehicle to drive defensively.

Spring sunshine and motorcycles on the road can be a deadly combination.

The Washington State Patrol says it's not uncommon to see a motorcycle fatality when the weather starts getting warmer.

At Motorcycle Training Incorporated in Richland, they train riders that staying safe on the road requires more than a firm grip on the handle bars.

"We always tell the riders, practice your good mental skills so you don't have to use your extraordinary physical skills to get out of trouble," said Dusty Powers, Motorcycle Training Incorporated.

Studies show the most common reasons a rider crashes are excessive speed and inexperience.

"Any time you go out there on a motorcycle at highway speeds or through town and you don't have the proper training, you're putting yourself at a lot of risk," said Trooper Chris Thorson.

Trooper Thorson has seen fatal motorcycle crashes and encourages everyone to get extra training.

In 2012, there were 83 motorcycle fatalities in Washington state and WSP says the trend shows they are mostly caused by rider error.

Two groups are high risk, young riders speeding and older riders overestimating their abilities.

"They still think they can ride. They did when they were younger and unfortunately they're dying at a very high rate," Powers said.

Powers believes motorcycle safety is more than a skill set. It's a state of mind.

"If we just had a fight with somebody or had a bad day at work. Don't ride to clear your head. Clear your head to ride. Focus on the motorcycling. Focus on the task at hand," Powers said.

Powers points out that most motorcycle crashes don't involve another vehicle and often happen when riders take a corner too fast and don't keep their eyes focused on the direction they're going.

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