GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It's deadly accidents like the one that happened Friday night that highlight the dangers associated with motorcycles.
In just eight months, South Mississippi has already lost eight lives to motorcycle accidents. Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper First Class Benjamin Seibert said some of those deadly accidents are due to other careless drivers on the road.
"Being a trooper, we can't stress avoiding distracted driving enough," he said.
Seibert said wether it's fatigue or texting and driving, drivers can be easily distracted and lose track of their surroundings. That's why members of the Motorcycle Awareness Campaign are coming together to try and keep motorists safe.
"This campaign is a national organization. It's based out of Baton Rouge," William Clark said. "They started it due to the fact that so many of our friends were dying on motorcycles."
Tom Crais is the state coordinator for Motorcycle Awareness Campaign. He said his team's message is simple.
"To be aware of motorcycles on the road. Take your time, pay a little extra attention to what you're doing while you're driving," said Crais. "To get the word across the state of Mississippi, and through that we use bumper stickers and yard signs."
The past couple of years, MAC credits itself to contributing to the reduction of motorcycle fatalities by 40 percent in Louisiana. It hopes to do the same in our state.
"Be mindful, motorcycles are out there and just pay attention while you are driving," said Seibert.
Right now, the Motorcycle Awareness Campaign has three chapters: the Gulf Coast, Pine Belt and North Mississippi. Members said they are hoping the campaign will grow and save lives. If you would like to get involved or learn more about the campaign, call the local chapter at (228) 990-0390.