May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month 2019: Share the Road Get Up to Speed on Motorcycles
With winter behind us, more motorcyclists will be taking the opportunity to hop on their bikes and hit the open road. The entire month of May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, so we’re sharing some tips for automobile and motorcyclists, as suggested by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to keep in mind as we enter motorcycle riding season. We encourage motorists and motorcyclists to stay alert and always share the road, making highways around the country safer for everyone.
Tips for Motorists
1. Share the Road
Research consistently shows motorists at-fault in the majority of multi-vehicle motorcycle-involved collisions. Vehicles are clearly larger than motorcycles, making motorcyclists more vulnerable than car drivers on the road. Motorcyclists have the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle, so sharing the road isn't a courtesy, but a right. Drivers should always keep an eye out for motorcycle riders and understand the safety challenges of riding a motorcycle, which include size and visibility.
For drivers, always check mirrors and blind spots before merging or changing lanes as motorcycles are much smaller than cars and can often be hidden from easy view.
3. Give Motorcyclists Extra Space
If you are driving a car or truck, remember that sharing the road means giving motorcyclists extra space when following them. Motorcycles operate differently than automobiles and should have enough space to maneuver or stop in an emergency. The NHTSA recommends three to four seconds of following distance between a vehicle and a motorcycle.
Tips for Motorcyclists
1. Be aware of vehicle blind spots.
For motorcyclists, remember that many cars have large blind spots. When passing or riding near a driver, visualize where their blind spot is and avoid it. The majority of motorcycle crashes occur from the front, when a motorcyclist is in an automobile driver’s blind spot.
2. Wear proper protection
No matter how short or far your ride is, always wear a helmet when on your bike. DOT-compliant helmets and other protective gear are important safety measures all motorcyclists should use. Brightly colored clothes and reflective tape help to increase your visibility to other drivers. According to the NHTSA, over 1700 riders are saved by helmets in accidents annually.
3. Ride responsibly
Obey all traffic laws, hold proper licenses, and ride in the middle of the lane, which is more visible to other drivers.
1. Check & use your turn signals
Drivers and motorcyclists alike should always remember to use turn signals when making a turn or changing lanes. This allows both parties to anticipate traffic flow and allow for lane space if necessary. Additionally, make sure you signals are functioning properly. Many motorcycles do not have self-cancelling turn signals, which means that they will continue to blink after making your turn.
This should be a no brainer for both motorcyclists and drivers. In 2014, more than one quarter of all car crashes involved cell phone use. Distracted driving impairs all aspects of driving distractions--visual, manual, and cognitive. Only text when at a complete stop and, if needed, pull over to access your phone in a safe manner.
With Rokform’s beginnings in the powersports industry, a phone mount made specifically for motorcycles was high on our priority list. Our collection of motorcycle mounts help motorcyclists have secure, hands-free access to their phone for navigation.
For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.
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To celebrate Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, we’re reminding motorists to Get Up to Speed on Motorcycles to help keep motorcyclists safe.