Rolling Thunder prompts a reminder about sharing road with motorcycles

WASHINGTON — With the unofficial start of summer and the 30th-annual Rolling Thunder ride this weekend, drivers are being reminded to stay safe around people on motorcycles.

“Motorcycles are very easy to miss as they are smaller, and oftentimes when there are accidents, they’re far more dangerous for motorcycles than it would be a regular accident between cars,” said Officer Nathan Probus of the Prince William County Police Department.

Whether it is a Rolling Thunder convoy or a single motorcyclist out on a regular trip, drivers should always leave plenty of room when passing and riding behind motorcycles, Probus said.

“Even the smallest collision between a car and a motorcycle can be deadly for the motorcyclist,” he said.

One of the department’s motorcycle officers, Chris Yung, was killed in a December 2012 crash when a minivan turning left across traffic did not see Yung coming. The officer had a green light, and his lights and siren were activated.

One of the key tips is to “look twice and save a life”: As a driver is turning left, double check that there is not a motorcycle or other small car coming hidden behind other traffic.

Making eye contact with people on motorcycles can also ensure drivers are focused and ready to share the road as required by law, Probus said.

“It’s very easy when you’re in a car to be a bully, but remember that they have just as much of a right to be on the road as you do,” he said.

Rolling Thunder events are due to begin 5 p.m. Friday at the National Cathedral in Northwest and continue Saturday before the main Rolling Thunder ride from the Pentagon to the National Mall area on Sunday.

Motorcyclists are expected to begin coming into town late this week using most of the region’s major highways.

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