MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — May is motorcycle safety awareness month. Police, state agencies, bikers, and those who love them are asking folks to take an extra moment to watch out for motorcycles. More importantly, watch out for the dads, moms, brothers and sisters who are riding those motorcycles.
The bikers hold responsibility for their own safety too, after all, it is we who decide to take part in an inherently dangerous activity.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “motorcyclist deaths occurred 28 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles, based on 2016 fatal crash data. To keep motorcyclists safe, we urge everyone to share the road and be alert, and we’re reminding motorcyclists to make themselves visible, to use DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets, and to always ride sober.”
According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, “In 2014, 4,586 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes representing 14 percent of total highway fatalities. While that was a decrease from the year prior, further efforts of awareness and commitment to safety are required to reach the ultimate goal of zero deaths on Mississippi highways.”
MDOT also has tips for drivers and motorcyclists alike.
Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
Never drive distracted or impaired.
MDOT also offers tips for motorcyclists:
Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
Never ride distracted or impaired.
Please be careful out there and follow me on social media
Please be careful out there, and follow me on social media:
Chris Best is the News Director for WKRG. He’s a husband and father of four. He’s also a motorcycle enthusiast.