Early this morning a driver in upstate New York made a tragic decision to turn in front of a motorcyclist. The resulting collision caused the death of both the motorcycle operator and their passenger. the driver of the car was unhurt and police are investigating the accident. No charges have yet been filed.

Any time a car collides with a motorcyclist, regardless of who is at fault, the motorcyclist almost always suffers the worst injuries. There is little to no protection for motorcyclists, except a helmet and perhaps some leather pants, while the driver of the car has seat belts, safety protection systems such as air bags, and a three thousand pound vehicle between them and the oncoming bike.

Around the country traffic safety experts find themselves repeatedly warning drivers to be alert and aware any time a motorcyclist is in their area. During spring and summer, when most people begin riding their motorcycles again after a winter’s hiatus, the number of fatal traffic collisions between cars and bikes spikes. Last May was Motorcycle Awareness Month and traffic safety experts, police and motorcycle shops and riders across the country promoted driver awareness involving motorcycles. Unfortunately public safety messages only go so far when it comes to making the streets a safer place. It is proving difficult to get some drivers to stop texting behind the wheel, and trying to get them to respect motorcyclists and be more aware behind the wheel is even more difficult than that.

The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office tells local media outlets that the driver of a car was making a lefthand turn on Route 12 in the town of Greene Sunday evening when she turned in front of a motorcycle.

Deputies say the motorcycle slammed into the car, killing the bike’s driver and passenger. Their names haven’t been released.

The woman driving the car was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Police haven’t said yet if she’ll be charged.

The crash occurred on a rural stretch of road 15 miles northeast of Binghamton.