As the warm weather moves in, more motorcycles are on the road. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month, which serves as a reminder for all vehicles to remember to Share the Road.
According to the NHTSA, in 2014, 4,586 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes, a decrease of 2.3 percent from from 2013 (4,692). Those deaths account for 14 percent of the total highway fatalities that year, despite motorcycle registrations representing only 3 percent of all vehicles in the United States in 2014. Injured motorcyclists also decreased from 93,000 in 2013 to 88,000 in 2014.
Wearing a helmet is an important way for a motorcyclist to stay safe, but all motorists play a part. The NHTSA reminds motorists that it is especially important to understand motorcycle safety challenges such as size and visibility, and riding practices like downshifting and weaving to be able to anticipate and respond to motorcyclist behavior.
Some general safety tips for drivers to improve motorcycle safety are
- Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the road as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
- Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
- Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
- Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
- Never drive distracted or impaired.
Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these safety guidelines:
- Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
- Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
- Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
- Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
- Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
- Never ride distracted or impaired.
Motorcyclists can keep their bike safe by:
- Keeping it properly maintained
- Parking it indoors
Install a T3 Vehicle Security System. The T3 will alert you immediately if your bike is moved. Your phone will show GPS location, speed, and direction. You call the T3, press # and T3 connects you to the 911-Operator located closest to your bike and T3 can let Police track the thief with real-time location of the bike. Contact us to learn more!