Just in time for spring riding season, Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month kicks off in May. As a national initiative encouraging drivers and riders to “share the road” with each other, it not only calls for operators of passenger vehicles to watch out for motorcyclists but also reminds bikers of their responsibility while cruising down America’s roadways.
Driver Safety Tips
As part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, drivers of cars, trucks and buses are reminded of the following:
- Remember that motorcyclists have all the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle driver on the roadway.
- Avoid sharing the lane, and allow bikers a full lane width. The motorcycle needs room to maneuver safely.
- Always use a signal before changing lanes or merging with traffic, so that bikers can maintain safe distance and lane position.
- Likewise, keep in mind that not all motorcycle signals are self-canceling. Wait to ensure the rider is going to turn before you make your move.
- Allow for extra room between you and the biker; they can stop more quickly than cars in dry conditions. A good rule of thumb is 3-4 seconds.
- Stay alert and minimize distractions such as texting and talking on the phone.
Motorcyclist Safety Tips
Riders are reminded to obey traffic laws and observe safety guidelines not only during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month but also throughout the year:
- Always wear DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets while riding, whether you are the operator or a passenger. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,617 motorcyclists in 2011. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 703 lives could have been saved.
- Wear protective gear, such as motorcycle boots, motorcycle gloves, and apparel that is designed for your riding conditions.
- Use reflective tape and wear bright colors to stay visible to other motorists.
- Remember never to share the lane with another vehicle; they may not see you when speeding up, slowing down or changing lanes.
Whether you will be out on the open road this spring or you find yourself cruising through the city streets, keep in mind that Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is for the protection of everyone. Share the road!