Here at Good Works Auto Repair, we love our four-wheeled customers but know many of them are also motorcycle owners as well. When spring is in the air, motorcyclists are everywhere. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and everyone is responsible for the safety of those who ride. If you ride a motorcycle then it is critical to respect your machine and those around you and improve your skills throughout your lifetime. If you are only interested in four-wheeled vehicles you are still responsible for the safety of motorcyclists around you.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2017, 5,172 motorcycle riders and passengers died in crashes. Fatalities among motorcycle riders and passengers have more than doubled in number since 1997. Even more reason to focus on your surroundings while driving!
Motorcycle Safety on the Road
With attention on May being Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) and NSC offer the following tips to help drivers and motorcyclists alike stay safe on the roads this May and all year long.
- Passenger car drivers should allow greater following distance behind a motorcycle. Don’t follow motorcyclists too closely and allow a braking cushion between your vehicle and the motorcycle in front of you. Motorcycle brake lights may not always be engaged when a motorcycle decelerates.
- Use extra caution in intersections. Most crashes occur when a driver fails to see a motorcyclist and turns left in front of a motorcycle. Make sure there is enough time and space for the motorcyclist to clear the roadway before you initiate the left turn.
- Always give a motorcycle the full lane width. As a driver, never try to share a lane with a motorcycle.
- Motorcyclists should never ride in rain, snow, sleet, extreme wind or in any poor weather conditions.
- Motorcyclists should always be visible positioning their motorcycles to avoid a driver’s blind spot. Also wearing bright and reflective clothing helps remain visible.
- Motorcyclists must use turn signals for every turn or lane change.
- Motorcyclists should wear a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet even in states where helmet laws are not present.
A helmet is the most important equipment a biker can use. In 2017, 1,908 motorcyclists who died were not wearing a helmet. Helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries. Here is a Fact Sheet on Motorcycle Helmet Use.
Whether a motorcyclist or driver of a four-wheel vehicle, always be aware of your surroundings, check your blind spots, and don’t be a distracted driver. Distractions include any activity that takes the driver’s focus off driving. The NHTSA provides these examples: talking or texting on a phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in the vehicle and fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system.