The National Safety Council (NSC) and other safety organizations have designated May as “Motorcycle Awareness Month”. The campaign is an effort to educate and alert drivers and motorcyclists to stay safe on the road.
Motorcycles are considered vehicles and have the exact same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway. They must also follow the same traffic laws as other vehicles.
Unfortunately, motorcycle fatalities in the U.S. rose 10% in 2015, meaning that more than 5,000 motorcycle riders died. Suspected reasons for this increase was the short relative warm winter, extending the number of riding days, and lower fuel prices.
The most common response that car and truck drivers who have hit a motorcycle say is that they did not see the motorcycle. In a lot of cases, a driver looking for cars perceives an absence of cars, not the presence of a motorcycle. (For specific information, see my article, Motorcycles and personal injury cases.)
National Safety Council Safety Tips for Motorcyclists and Motorists
The National Safety Council (NSC) encourages motorists to share the road with motorcyclists and to use extra caution when cyclists are near. Here are NSC’s tips for motorists AND mostorcyclists.
- Passenger car drivers must allow greater following distance behind a motorcycle.
- Drivers also must show extra caution in intersections. Most crashes occur when a driver fails to see a motorcyclist and turns left in front of a motorcycle.
- Drivers should never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Always give a motorcycle the full lane width.
- Motorcyclists should avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
- Motorcyclists should position their motorcycles to avoid a driver’s blind spot.
- Motorcyclists must use turn signals for every turn or lane change.
“Throughout spring and summer the number of motorcyclists on the road will increase. It is important for both motorists and motorcyclists to be aware of one another,” said David Teater, NSC senior director of Transportation Initiatives. “To better defend themselves, motorcyclists should follow the rules of the roadway and wear protective gear, including a Department of Transportation compliant helmet.”
Unfortunately, not all states require motorcyclists to wear helmets. Arkansas is one of those states. I urge all motorcyclists to wear helmets anyway, and make themselves visible to other motorists. For all motorists, I would remind you to “share the road”.
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