As the weather gets warmer, stay aware of motorcyclists - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

As the weather gets warmer, stay aware of motorcyclists

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TRI-CITIES, WA - As more bikes get on the road, awareness behind the wheel plays an important role while driving. We spoke with a resident here in the Tri-Cities who was hit by a driver who wasn't paying attention.

"I get really scared when I drive; not even when I just ride on a motorcycle anymore," said Hayden Coffey, a motorcyclist.

As the weather begins to warm up, a lot of people in the Tri-Cities begin to take their motorcycles out for a spin. This means drivers have to pay extra attention.

"You take a risk every time that you get in a car," Coffey said. "You take a risk every time that you get on a bike. Obviously, your chances of getting hit are greater on a bike. And obviously there a bigger dangers to it. But if it is something that you like to do I don't think it should stop you."

In fact, because bikes are much smaller than cars, it makes it difficult to judge their speed and distance. That is why the Washington State Department of Transportation is encouraging drivers to take a second look and be aware... something that Coffey says might have saved him from his accident.

"I think that as long as you are proactive, and you are aware, and you're smart," he said. "I think you can avoid a lot of instances. Even in that accident, had I not looked that second time and seen her out of the corner of my eye she wouldn't have hit the front of my bike. She would have hit my hip and I probably would of had a broken back."

In 2015, Coffey was struck by a driver who ran a red light. The driver was going 42 miles per hour. Despite the accident, Coffey believes that fear shouldn't be something that keeps you from riding a motorcycle.

"I just think that if it's something that you want to do, I say give it a try. I got back up on it after I got hit. There is not reason why someone can't try it out."

Luckily, Coffey didn't suffer any broken bones from the incident, but it did leave him with a contusion on his leg and a concussion.

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