BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- With Memorial Day approaching, historically marking the start of the 101 Critical Days of Summer, National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) leadership is supporting the Navy's summer safety campaign "Live to Play, Play to Live," in hopes of preventing motorcycle deaths and injuries.
"We need everyone to ride smart and most of all to ride safe this summer," said NNMC Deputy Commander Capt. Daniel Zinder, who also rides a motorcycle. "If new motorcycle riders and experienced riders take motorcycle safety courses to learn new skills or refresh old skills, I believe we can prevent and reduce motorcycle fatalities."
According to Dan Moore, Naval District Washington lead traffic safety instructor with Cape Fox Professional Services, motorcyclists need be aware of other drivers on the road.
"Once the weather warms up, motorcycles are on the road and it was reported in 2008 that 33 Sailors lost their lives in motorcycle accidents," he said. "Most people in an accident with a motorcyclist almost always say 'I never saw them.' We have to be aware there are others on the road."
Sport bikes represent a popular trend in motorcycles, a vehicle the Defense Department describes as any motorcycle with a forward leaning position, rear set foot pegs and high power-to-weight ratio.
For those wanting to purchase one of these motorcycles, Moore recommends riders understand the limitations of their skill.
"Sport bikes are the cheapest motorcycles out there and most people that get sports bikes are not experienced riders," he said. "Their popularity has brought them out to the streets. So a person that gets these types of motorcycles needs to make sure they can handle it. They need to take the training classes that can teach them if they get into a situation, how to get out of the situation."
For more information on motorcycles, riding motorcycles on base, safety gear and the "Live to Play, Play to Live" safety campaign, visit www.navymotorcyclerider.com.
For more news from National Naval Medical Center, visit www.navy.mil/local/nnmc/.