By Lindsey Watson - EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WYTV) - Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer, so that means more drivers will be on the roadways, especially motorcyclists.
For officials, this is a yearly cause for concern. Over 5,000 deaths are reported each year from car and motorcycle accidents.
If you're riding two wheels this summer instead of four, emergency officials have a few tips on how you can keep yourself safe.
"Follow the speed limits, obviously they are there for a reason. Safety is the utmost reason. Be paying attention 360 degrees of your vehicle at all times," said East Palestine Fire Department Chief Josh Brown.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration urges all drivers to always be smart and remain aware, whether you're driving a car or a bike.
"Slow down for intersections and don't tailgate other people on the road. Be safe on the roadways, check your blind spots," Brown said.
Statistics show that in Ohio alone the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on the road.
"Another thing is don't drink and drive, that seems to be a huge factor in a lot of our accidents," Brown said.
Officials also suggest for all drivers to practice defensive driving, by assuming any and all motorists don't see you.
And, just like how seat belts save lives, experts say helmets save lives as well. Between 2010 and 2014, the majority of motorcyclists who died were not wearing helmets.
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