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Two Motorcycle Crashes in Two Days Spark Safety Concerns

Adrianna Weingold

Two Motorcycle Crashes in Two Days Spark Safety Concerns

CREATED Sep. 27, 2012

 SKY VALLEY--Two motorcycle accidents in the past few days have bikers here in the valley on high alert.

Tragically two people lost their lives Wednesday afternoon in Sky Valley. Another man suffered serious injuries in a crash the day before in Indio. In both accidents the motorcyclists had the right of way and were wearing helmets.
At Sam's Cycle Service Incorporated in Rancho Mirage. Owner Sam Plonski says he's had several friends hurt or killed in motorcycle accidents. He stresses that riders can never be too careful.
"A lot of times we're just sitting ducks out there because people don't see us and what i put on my website and what i tell my friends and what i remind myself is that just simply to pretend that you are invisible because people will look right at you and they won't see you," Sam Plonski, Owner of Sam's Cycle Services Incorporated in Rancho Mirage.
It's advice echoed by the California Highway Patrol--always be on the lookout even if you have the right of way.
"You need to ride defensively," said California Highway Patrol Officer Joe Zagorski said. "You need to ride as if you were invisible, as if no one will see you because in most cases they don't."
Unfortunately two accidents involving motorcycles in the past 48 hours have left two people dead and one seriously injured--both bikes in the crashes had the right of way. Wednesday's fatal accident happened in Sky Valley.
The driver of the truck was heading westbound on Dillon Road when he turned left directly in front of the motorcycle.
It's a tragedy that even the most experienced riders aren't surprised happened--Raymond Sanchez has been riding for decades. He's been in two accidents, nothing too serious, but he says they've made him more vigilant about his safety.
"I'm always aware if there's someone in front of me or somebody's braking or you get a lot of people that come out of driveways and you have a lot of people making u-turns in the street, so you have to be aware at all times with riding a motorcycle," said motorcyclist Raymond Sanchez.
Back at Sam's shop, he suggests riders wear bright helmets, bright jackets, even install loud exhausts to help remind drivers to share the road. He says anything to make yourself more visible can mean the difference between life and death.
The investigations into both crashes are ongoing.
Motorcycle Safety Tips:
- Always wear a helmet that fits right. Pick one that has the DOT label, which shows that it meets federal safety standards.
- Know your bike's limits.
- Stick to the speed limit.
- Don't tailgate other vehicles.
- Use your signals.
- Be respectful of other drivers. Don't weave through traffic or drive on the shoulder.
- Make sure other drivers can see you. Don't ride in blind spots and always use your headlights.
- Brake smart. Use both brakes at the same time, slow and steady.
--Adrianna Weingold