Motorcyclists question Louisville road safety after recent fatalities

Five fatal accidents involving Louisville Metro motorcyclists, reported in the last four weeks, have bikers questioning highway safety.
Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 5:33 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Five fatal accidents involving Louisville Metro motorcyclists, reported in the last four weeks, have bikers questioning highway safety.

Makayla Elder, 22, has been riding motorcycles since she was 18.

After a recent close call, she said she has never been more worried about her safety on the road.

“(I was) coming down Poplar (Level Road,) and this truck just could not decide whether or not he was going to turn in front of me,” Elder said. “Almost got me by a few inches. So it happens all the time.”

In May the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported motorcycles in 2020 totaled 0.6% of miles traveled in the U.S.

However, the rate of fatalities was six times greater for bikers than for people in passenger cars.

Motorcyclists said so many are happening now because more drivers may be distracted and speeding, which are bad habits that have persisted since drivers returned to the road as COVID restrictions lifted.

“(Speeding traffic) makes me have to go faster,” motorcyclist John Kime said. “It makes me have to be more aware of what’s around me.”

Kime, a motorcycle service technician, has been riding more than 60 years. A common problem he sees today is distracted drivers.

“I see them every time I ride,” Kime said. “They’re looking at their phone or they’re talking on their phone.”

Elder rides with a camera mounted on her helmet, just in case.

“When I’m talking about my own safety,” Elder said. “When I come up to a light, I’m seeing people run it, and it just makes you think twice about am I really safe?”