Motorcycle awareness is critical this time of year, when the warming weather draws riders out onto roads they haven’t been seen on in months. That’s why May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month.
Motorcycle organizations all over the U.S. are joining with local, state and federal agencies to remind motorists they need to be vigilant for the smallest automobiles on the road, which are harder to see and more vulnerable than a four-wheeled ride. The effort includes ads with lines like: “Bikers: Tough on the outside. Soft and squishy on the inside.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers several tips to keep motorcyclists safe.
- Give motorcycles the full lane —never try to share
- Check mirrors and blind spots at intersections and before changing lanes
- Signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging
- Don’t rely on motorcycle turn signals. Most don’t self-cancel and riders can forget
- Give a motorcycle three or four seconds of following distance so it has room to maneuver in an emergency
- Don’t tailgate. They can stop quicker than you
- Don’t drive distracted
Unlike ever-improving car safety stats, motorcycle deaths have been on the upswing for several years now. Riding enthusiasts and government safety agencies are hoping riders and drivers will help reverse that trend.