Today, more people are riding motorcycles than ever before. Motorcycle riders represent almost every demographic group in the country. Riders now tend to be more affluent than 30 years ago. The average age of riders has increased, and more women are riding than ever before. In 2010, 4,502 motorcyclists were killed –while this is a decrease of 15% from the 5,312 motorcyclists killed in 2008, saving more lives is the ultimate goal. 1
Now that warmer weather has covered most of America, motorcyclists everywhere will soon be out in full force
In response to this increase, the NHTSA has proclaimed May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” During this time – and during the rest of the year – motorists and other road users are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcycles, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. Changing the driving habits of motorists and motorcyclists alike will help decrease the numbers of motorcyclist killed and injured in crashes. Motorcyclists are reminded to make sure that they are visible to motorists, and that they follow the rules of the road. All road users are reminded to never drive, ride, walk or bicycle while distracted.
Motorcycle safety is a Two-Way Street
Automobile drivers need to be vigilant to look for motorcycles as they are harder to see, and are far more vulnerable to road hazards and impacts. Drivers of cars, trucks and buses are reminded to look out for and share the road with motorcycle riders. Things as simple as always using your turn signal, even if you don’t see another vehicle around, and scrupulously checking mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes can potentially avert disaster.
Motorcyclists have responsibilities too, in that they are reminded to obey traffic laws, wear DOT-compliant helmets and other protective gear, and make themselves visible by wearing bright colors and using reflective tape. In addition, motorcyclists are responsible for being alert to the actions of other drivers, and never EVER getting behind the handle bars while impaired. After all –Drinking slows down a riders reactions to curves.
Increasing safe riding and cooperation between all road users and motorcyclists will help to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our nation’s highways.