Summer season is here and with it comes more motorcyclists on the streets.
That’s why a local bike shop wants the public to be aware of the danger they could create for these drivers; and for good reason: Just this week a motorcyclist died after he hit a curb on Rocky Lane in Odessa, and in Midland this week, 48-year-old Joseph Privitt was killed in a hit and run when a truck crashed into his motorcycle head-on.
Last October, a 21-year-old motorcyclist was killed on Loop 250 while trying to pass two semi-trucks.
“You gotta say your prayers every time you get on a bike, because people don't see you and don't know how to look for you,” said one rider at Elite Cycles, a local bike shop in Midland.
April Bryson has owned Elite Cycles for the past three years, and has been riding for the past 30.
She’s had many close calls in her lifetime, and her biggest fear is inattentive drivers on the roads.
“A lot of times you don’t see us but you can hear us, so just be aware,” Bryson said.
In fact, those loud tailpipes aren’t just for showing off. Bryson says they’re a life-saving feature since many drivers can’t see a biker in their blind spot.
But in some cases, Bryson feels some drivers intentionally put motorcyclists in harm’s way.
“Vehicles that intentionally ride close to you, ride past you, zoom over in front of you and hit their brakes,” Bryson said, recalling a time a similar action caused a crash that nearly killed her.
“I had a big hole in my ankle. My left ankle had stitches inside and out, and then I've got a lot of road rash all over,” she said.
But some riders aren’t as lucky as Bryson, like a friend of hers, who she says was very close to her.
“His name was Malcolm McPherson and he was hit—no fault of his—and he was killed on September 10, 2013,” she said.
For vehicle crashes altogether, so far this year there have been 13 fatal accidents in Midland County.
Last year, that number was seven, and in 2015 Midland County saw a total of ten fatal crashes.
Back in 2014 there were 18, and in 2013, 23 fatal crashes.