East Tennessee Biker pleads for increased vigilance after deadly crash

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville motorcycle president is offering advice in order to keep fellow bikers safe as motorcycle crashes continue across East Tennessee.

Jack Lakin has been riding motorcycles for years. In fact, he is the president of Blue Knights TN III. But he has seen the dark side of motorcycle riding.

“I’ve had friends die,” said Lakin.

It is because of those friends that Lakin works to educate and protect his fellow motorcyclists using three simple pieces of advice.

“The first one is I assume nobody sees me,” Lakin explained. “Getting to that intersection if you’ll take your handlebars and just wiggle. Immediately they look at it and go ‘Wow, what was that?’.”

Jack Lakin, President of Blue Knight TN III

Lakin’s next tip: be a front-wheel watcher.

“If you see that front wheel rotate, start braking,” Lakin told WATE. “That’s the sign that they don’t see you.”

Lakin’s third tip: flash them.

“I take my brake and I flash it,” Lakin said. “I see you, do you see me?”

Lakin’s Three Commandments

  1. Assume nobody sees you
  2. Be a “front wheel watcher”
  3. Flash your brakes

Although most of Lakin’s advice is aimed toward bikers, he also had advice for drivers: always look twice.

“How much time does it take me to do this,” Lakin asked. “Is that less than five seconds? You just saved somebody’s life.”

The Knoxville Fire Department echoes Lakin’s piece of advice.

“When a motorcycle may be passing you, may not see them as easily,” said Marc Wilbanks, Assistant Chief at Knoxville Fire Department. “So that extra second or two to really look around and make sure there’s not one there.”

If you look close enough, you’ll notice motorcyclists trying to do the exact same thing as you.

“Everybody that rides, they all have a way of dropping that hand and giving a signal to each other,” Lakin said. “You know what we’re just telling you? Get home safe.”

Lakin also suggests wearing bright-colored clothing or clothes that do not match your bike as the mismatch of colors can help drivers distinguish you while on the road.

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