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Officials urge motorcycle safety on scenic roads as fall approaches

To avoid accidents on roads like the Blue Ridge Parkway, rangers are urging bikers to keep their eyes on the road, despite the temptation to look away at the beautiful vistas. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

You can hear the sound of motorcycles in the mountains now, and it will get louder as leaf season arrives.

To avoid accidents on roads like the Blue Ridge Parkway, rangers are urging bikers to keep their eyes on the road, despite the temptation to look away at the beautiful vistas. They said it's easy for a motorcycle to drift off a curve, and there's a simple solution.

“We have plenty of parking areas, that's where the riders, the drivers should pull over and then they can take their time and look at the views we have here,” said Ranger Chuck Hester.

“They're doing their level best to be safe, 90 out of 100,” said Michael Crew, who was riding his motorcycle on the parkway with his wife Lee.

He believes a loud motorcycle adds safety by alerting other drivers.

“You can always hear a loud bike,” he said.

“My most concern would be somebody running over us from behind,” said Lee Crew. “A lot of cars ride too close to motorcycles.”

She advocates helmets.

“If I didn't have on my helmet I may not be here today,” she said, having survived two motorcycle accidents

They both advocate lights, as well.

Rangers said when bikers come in groups, the slower drivers should be up front or in the middle, keeping the speed steady.

“Don't ride at your skill level. Ride below,” said Hester.

This is all important advice, Hester said, as leaf season is coming.

“Stay in your lane, and I think everybody will have a very good fall season,” he said.

Rangers also suggest checking the forecast before riding on roads at higher elevations, where the weather can turn bad quickly.

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