May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, as it ushers in warmer weather and more motorcycles on the streets. To create safer roads and save lives, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is addressing common motorcyclist behaviors and highlighting simple steps both vehicle drivers and motorcycle riders can take to increase their safety and prevent crashes.
In 2016, there were 5,286 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes, a five percent increase from 2015. Those deaths accounted for 14 percent of the total highway fatalities that year. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 27 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than passenger vehicle occupants, and they are five times more likely to be injured.
While on the roads, drivers may encounter motorcyclist behaviors that seem out of sync with their own. In addition, it can be easy to overlook a motorcycle due to its smaller size. Even the smallest momentary lapse in a vehicle driver’s awareness can result in a crash with an unseen motorcyclist. NHTSA’s Get Up to Speed on Motorcycles campaign helps motorists understand standard motorcycle driving behaviors and how to drive safely near motorcycles.
Tips for Motorists
The NHTSA recommends that drivers follow these tips to prevent a crash with a motorcycle:
Because vehicle drivers control a much larger machine, it is imperative that they always keep close watch for motorcyclists who may be riding nearby.
Tips for Motorcyclists
Motorcyclists must also take extra precautions to guard against drivers who may not see them. The NHTSA suggests the following tips for motorcyclists to prevent a crash with a vehicle:
As May nears, remember to Share the Road with motorcyclists and vehicle drivers alike. For more information on motorcycle safety, visit www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycles.