HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month, yet two motorcycle crashes resulted in three fatalities last week in Madison County. Three more accidents left bikers seriously injured.
With the weather warming up, this is the ideal time for riders to hit the road, but they need drivers to be alert in order for them to stay safe.
Abel Fuller was riding his motorcycle on the Greenbriar overpass around lunchtime on May 3, 2014, when a driver on a cell phone made a sharp and sudden turn in front of him.
“I had no choice but to hit her,” said Fuller. “There was nothing I could do.”
He tried to stop in time, but he could not. Fuller hit the car at about 30 miles per hour. Friends say he then flipped four or five times over the car.
“From what I understand, she told everybody on the scene that she never heard or saw me,” said Fuller. “She was on her phone the whole time.”
Fuller was wearing a helmet, but he still suffered a dislocated and fractured shoulder, a fractured sternum, fractured ribs, three fractures in his pelvis and a slight fracture in his left foot. He also had bruising to his heart and lungs.
Accidents like Fuller’s are more common this time of year, so bikers are doing what they can to stay safe.
Both beginner and advanced bikers can take classes at the Rocket Harley Davidson on how to be a better rider.
“Paying attention to your surroundings, always looking for an out, if you had to lay it down, here’s the proper way to lay it down to minimize your getting hurt,” said Rocket Harley Davidson Service Manager Chuck Munsey.
Motorcyclists need to also keep their headlights on and use proper turn signals.
HEMSI Chief Operating Officer Don Webster has been on many of these motorcycle wreck calls. He also suggests that bikers wear brightly colored clothes.
“The person that’s on the bike needs to wear high visibility vests or some kind of high visibility shirt and just drive cautiously, drive defensively and watch out for that other person,” said Webster.
As for drivers, they need to be aware of their surroundings.
“Pay attention to your blind spots,” said Munsey. “If you see a motorcycle, give them a little bit more space cause again they got four wheels and we got two.”
Munsey also pointed out that some of the most dangerous areas for bikers are access ramps on highways. He urged drivers to be alert when pulling onto the road.
As for Fuller, he may need to have surgery on his shoulder, but he he plans to be back on his motorcycle as soon as the doctors will allow him. He also has a message for drivers.
“Just stay off your cell phones and pay attention,” said Fuller.