ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A significant increase in motorcycles are expected to be on the road as the annual Americade Motorcycle Rally returned to Lake George on Tuesday. The event runs through June 11 and is expected to draw between 100,000 and 200,000 visitors to the region.

Americade will feature vendors and tents around Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center, Charles R. Wood Park, and a stretch of Beach Road in front of Lake George. Shepard Park is hosting two free concerts on Friday and Saturday, both benefiting Ronald McDonald House. Americade’s schedule is featuring a long list of events and sunset dinner cruises by the Lake George Steamboat Company.

New York State has been a leader in promoting motorcycle safety, enacting the first-in-the-nation law in 1967 requiring all motorcycle riders and their passengers to wear helmets. The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) offers suggestions to promote safety during Americade.

GTSC suggestions for riders:

  • Protect your head by always wearing a DOT-approved helmet and eye protection. “Novelty Helmets” are not approved and offer little protection to the rider in a crash. They are illegal to wear on New York roadways.
  • Always wear high-quality riding gear designed to protect the rider during a fall. This includes over-the-ankle boots, full finger gloves with padding in addition to jackets and pants with armor protection at impact points.
  • Be conspicuous. Wear high visibility vests, garments with reflector features, and accessories to boost your visibility to other drivers. 
  • Maintain your motorcycle properly. Ensure all of your lights and horn are working and both mirrors are adjusted. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have legal tread depth. Remember, motorcycles maintain a smaller tire contact patch on the roadway when compared to other vehicles. Good traction is a key component to safe handling and braking in normal and adverse situations.
  • Maintain a high level of awareness. Scan the roadway constantly for dangers and ride alert. If you are tired, take a break and re-energize to boost your concentration.
  • Drive sober. Never ride impaired by alcohol or drugs and discourage other riders from making a bad choice.
  • Turn left with caution. Most crashes between cars and motorcycles involve turning left. If you are preparing to cross traffic or turn left, take a second look to make sure it is safe to proceed.
  • Slow down. Speed is the number one cause of traffic crashes. Slow down, take your time and maintain control of the motorcycle.
  • Allow adequate space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Use the “two-second” rule as a safety zone.
  • Observe and obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals.
  • Let other motorists know your intentions. Signal when you turn with your directional lights or hand signals. Also, flashing your brake light periodically before you stop will alert drivers behind you to be cautious.

GTSC suggestions for other drivers:

  • Watch for motorcycles. Be aware of motorcycles sharing the roadways during all seasons, particularly during the spring and summer months when riding is most popular.
  • Yield to motorcycles. Don’t make a rash decision and turn quickly in front of an oncoming motorcycle as it may be traveling faster than it appears.
  • Look Twice and Save a Life. Check your mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes. Also, when negotiating busy intersections, look twice for motorcycles before proceeding safely. They have a smaller frontal area and may be hard to see.
  • Be a responsible driver. Ensure your vehicle is in safe operating condition and that all of your safety equipment is properly adjusted. Observe and obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals.
  • Stay focused on the road and your surroundings. Never drive distracted. Don’t let cell phones and other activities distract you from your core mission.
  • Drive sober. Never drive impaired by alcohol or drugs and discourage others from doing so. Impaired driving is an indiscriminate killer with no demographic barriers!