May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
Spring in the state of Georgia has brought beautiful weather in the most uncertain of times. Shelter in place orders have meant the highways have been underpopulated, but that trend appears to change on a regular basis. Since May is motorcycle safety month if is appropriate to pause and “get up to speed on motorcycles.”
To help reduce motorcycle collisions and injuries and to help save lives, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched the new Get Up to Speed on Motorcycles campaign to help motorists understand standard motorcycle driving behaviors and to learn how to drive safely around motorcycles on our roadways.
Did you know?
- Motorcyclists are significantly over represented in traffic crashes and fatalities.
- Motorcyclists accounted for nearly 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2015, while motorcycles make up just 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States.
- Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 27 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash, and 5 times more likely to be injured.
What can we do to make the road safer for motorcyclists and other drivers?
- Allow more following distance, three or four seconds, following a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. In dry conditions motorcycles can stop more quickly than a car.
- Remember that motorcyclists are often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or missed in a quick look due to their smaller size. Always CHECK TWICE for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections
- Allow the motorcyclist a full lane width. Although it may seem as though there is enough room in the traffic lane for an automobile and a motorcycle, remember the motorcycle needs the room to maneuver safely. Do not share the lane with a motorcycle.
- Check your left. Nearly 40 percent of motorcycle crashes were caused by the other vehicle turning left in front of the motorcyclist.
As a reminder to all people riding a motorcycle: Wear a helmet. The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,784 motorcyclists in 2007. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 800 lives could have been saved.
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