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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- May 1 marked the start of a month dedicated to safe riding practices, and Wednesday night into Thursday morning was a clear reminder of why that message is so important.
In a span of less than three hours, two men died on Louisville roads. The first fatality occurred around midnight when police say 62-year-old Philip Frey's motorcycle collided with a car on Fern Valley Road. Just a couple hours later, 23-year-old Victor Williams died after police say he lost control of his bike on Lower Hunters Trace.
Neither was wearing a helmet.
The deaths are a stark reminder for motorcyclists at the Harley Davidson store on Arthur Street in Louisville.
"Everybody's got families, no one wants to lose their life doing something they enjoy," said Jeremy Jones. Jones owns three motorcycles and says safety is paramount.
Riders we spoke to said it takes being extra alert.
"You should act like you can't be seen, act like you are invisible," said Charlie Lewis. Charlie is the manager of the Harley Davidson store in Louisville and has been riding for over 30 years.
"It's all up to me really, I could be safe or unsafe, and if I'm doing the right thing, everything is going pretty good for the most part," said Paul Kubala.
The Indiana State Police say Motorcycle Safety and Awareness month takes place in May because bikes are hitting the road now after months in the garage.
"Weather is getting warmer now and they'll jump on their motorcycle the very first day that they can and they'll head out to I-65 to the one mile marker where we have our busiest situations," said Sergeant Jerry Gooden. Gooden suggests getting outside and practicing before hitting the road.
Officials say proper training, licensing, and equipment are key to safety.
They also say, awareness by other motorists may be life changing.
"Unfortunately today we have a lot of distracted drivers either by cell phones, radio, and they are just not paying much attention to what's going on around them," said Gooden.
When asked if they had any suggestions for other motorists, Jones said, keep your eyes open.
"Look. Every time you decide to turn, change lanes, slow down, or speed up, look."
And with that, these hog heads can hit the road and enjoy.
"Every day that the weather is good to be riding in, I'm out there."
This week, new changes were made to the motorcycle drivers test in Kentucky, where drivers will now have to show knowledge in two more skills on the test.