May marks the start of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, an initiative to remind drivers behind both handlebars and steering wheels to be cautious of those they share the road with. As summer nears closer, more and more motorcyclists take to the road, making it more important than ever to be mindful of our surroundings in an effort to keep our roads safe.
Although this initiative does promote motorcycle safety, it largely focuses on our responsibility as vehicle drivers. Because motorcycles are much smaller than cars, they often go unseen. This contributes to a number of motorcycle accidents every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of a car and 5 times more likely to be injured. In 2015, motorcycle-related fatalities totaled 163.
The summer months are statistically the most dangerous months for motorcyclists. For this reason, the American Motorcyclist Association is asking drivers to take extra precaution when switching lanes and crossing intersections to ensure no motorcyclist goes unnoticed. Drivers should also respect motorcyclists’ space, as following too closely could lead to fatal injury. AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman explains, “The warmer weather in May brings out the riders who have been unable to ride all winter, so it presents an excellent opportunity for us to educate the non-riding public about the safety issues that affect motorcyclists every time we roll out of our driveways.”
The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) began this initiative in the 1980s and since then it has become widely recognized. NHTSA lends their support to the cause and a number of states and insurance companies have adopted their own programs to raise awareness every May. Colorado focuses on new rider safety with their “Ride Wise” campaign, Texas launched “Share the Road…And Look Twice for Motorcycles” and Wisconsin is promoting their mobile training facility that offers training to both riders and drivers.
Whether you are a two-wheel or four-wheel motorist, we all have a responsibility to operate our vehicles safely and conscientiously. Together, we can make our roads safer for everyone. For more information on motorcycle safety or if you have been involved in a motorcycle-related accident, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help answer your questions and let you know what options you may have.