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May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

By Grant Law Office on May 1, 2010

The Law Offices of Wayne Grant is joining with federal, state and local highway safety, law enforcement and motorcycle organizations in proclaiming May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month”. By increasing safe riding and cooperation between all road users and motorcyclists, we can reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our nation’s highways.

As the weather improves, more and more motorcycle riders are hitting the roads throughout the country. The goal of this campaign is to remind motorists and other road users to look out for and “share the road” with motorcycle riders. Motorcycle riders are reminded to follow the rules of the road, wear safety helmets and other protective gear that will increase their visibility, and never ride impaired by alcohol or drugs.

The NHTSA wants motorists to understand that:

  • Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicles on the roadway.
  • Riders need to make themselves visible, and draw attention to themselves even if other drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians may not be actively looking.
  • Nearly half of all motorcycle crashes involve another motor vehicle. In approximately 40 percent of those crashes, the other vehicles were turning left while the motorcycles were going straight, passing or overtaking the vehicles.
  • Motorcyclists should never ride while distracted.

Helmets save lives –

  • All DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets sold in the United States meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,829 motorcyclists in 2008. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 823 lives could have been saved.

Motorcyclist Conspicuity

  • Wear brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet. Red, yellow, orange and white are highly visible and help a rider stand out.
  • Strategically use your lane position to see and be seen.
  • Use reflective tape and stickers to make you more visible to other motorists.
  • Use turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if you think no one will see them.
  • Combine hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to yourself.

Motorists and Other Road Users “Share the Road” Checklist
Motorists and other road users should:

  • Expect to see motorcycles at any time, and search aggressively for them.
  • Motorists and bicyclists should check their mirrors and blind spots before merging or changing lanes, especially in heavy traffic. Pedestrians should stop and look left-right-left for traffic before they step off the curb. A motorcycle can easily be hidden behind a car or truck.

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