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By: Shannon Riley

The latest data on vehicle miles traveled shows that motorcyclists are about 28 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash. [1]

May is the start of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, where everyone is reminded to stay alert and to share the road with motorcyclists. 

Although it can be a fun and thrilling activity, motorcycling can be very dangerous. Most accidents occur due to the fact that motorcyclists are in the blind spots of the vehicles that surround them. [2]

The amount of fatal motorcycle accidents has increased 131 percent between the years 1998 and 2008. 

With this number increasing year after year, the National Safety Council (NSC) has laid out 6 tips to consider when sharing the road with motorcyclists: 

1. Passenger car drivers must allow greater following distance behind a motorcycle.

2. Drivers also must show extra caution in intersections. Most crashes occur when a driver fails to see a motorcyclist and turns left in front of a motorcycle.

3. Drivers should never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Always give a motorcycle the full lane width.

4. Motorcyclists should avoid riding in poor weather conditions.

5. Motorcyclists should position their motorcycles to avoid a driver's blind spot.

6. Motorcyclists must use turn signals for every turn or lane change.

Additional Safety Precautions

Wear a helmet!

Although not required by law to wear, helmets are a key part of keeping people on motorcycles safe. In 2017, only 65 percent of motorcyclists wore helmets. [3] 

When purchasing a helmet, make sure to look for the Department of Transportation (DOT) symbol on the back. This will ensure that it meets DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218. 

Dress appropriately.

Protective clothing, such as leather or denim, are also essential in protecting the body in the event of an accident. Bright or reflective clothing will increase a motorcyclists visibility to other drivers.

Shoes should cover the ankle to protect against debris.

Although May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month, let this be a reminder to everyone on the road that motorcycle safety is a year round concern. 

Sources:

[1]  https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycle-safety

[2]  https://www.ehstoday.com/safety/6-tips-motorcycle-safety-awareness-month

[3] https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-motorcycle-crashes 


Author Headshot

Shannon Riley

Shannon is a Communication Major at the University of New Hampshire. As an intern at the NHADA, Shannon works in the Communication's office as a content writer and graphic designer.


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