BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Mark Jenkins was out on his Harley-Davidson several months ago when a car pulled in front of him, leaving him no time to stop.
"I have a broken collarbone, I have no feeling in my left thigh, and I have a portion of my chest that has no feeling as well," said Jenkins.
The brakes and gears on a motorcycle don't work the same as the ones in a car. Stopping on a dime isn't as easy as it sounds, which is why Jenkins says properly riding a motorcycle is serious business.
"We have to be both offensive and defensive drivers. We can't just strictly be defensive because I need to be out of their line of sight and out of the blind spot. So, I might have to speed up in order to get out of their blind spot," added Jenkins.
Drivers not paying attention to who's around them, or not caring who's in the next lane, is an issue that motorcyclists deal with daily.
Sean O'Neill rides with Jenkins in the Blue Knights of Mississippi, a local motorcycle group. He says reckless behavior from cars is unbelievably common.
"I would be lying if I don't say I see at least one observance of somebody cutting in front of me, or cutting in a car in front of me, forcing a minute reaction type situation. It's all about courtesy," said O'Neill
That courtesy applies to everyone. The Blue Knights believe that all riders should lead by a safe example when they're on the road.
"You got guys down here popping wheelies on Pass Road and Highway 90 and flooring it. Whether it be a small bike or a large cruiser type bikes, it doesn't make a difference. You have to set the standard for everyone else to pay attention to," said O'Neill.
Here are a few tips to make the roads a safe place:
- Use your signal and check the lanes to make sure it's clear before changing them.
- Motorcyclists should wear reflective material if they're riding at night.
- Always pay attention to the road
- Do not pull out in front of motorcycles.