May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. It is once again time to remind the world that there are motorcycle riders out there. Government agencies and safety organizations are reminding both motorists and motorcycle drivers to practice safety while on the road.

Car drivers might have gotten used to having the roads to themselves during winter, at least in most places. With the weather getting warmer, we see more and more riders out on the roads each day, and it’s time to remind everyone to be on alert.

Riders are more than excited to feel the breeze and just get out on the road again, after being cooped up all winter, but that shouldn’t stop them from being couscous at all times.

Both riders and drivers should be fully aware of their surroundings, and this is exactly the awareness Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is supposed to bring. Always checking for blind spots, mirrors and using turn signals are all necessary when changing lanes and when passing.

Distracted driving has been an issue on the rise. Various distractions during driving could mean the world for motorcycle riders. They could mean the difference between life and death. Don’t let one text destroy somebody’s life. It’s not worth it.

The Nelson Daily offers some useful tips.

Tips for drivers:

  • Give extra space when passing a motorcycle: Allow at least three seconds following distance when you’re behind a motorcycle.
  • Scan intersections: As with other vulnerable road users, the majority of car crashes involving motorcycles happen in intersections. Drivers need to look out for motorcycles – especially when turning left – they can be harder to see and it can be tough to judge how fast they’re travelling.
  • Leave your phone alone: Stay focused and avoid distractions that take your mind off driving and your eyes off the road.
  • Share the road with motorcycles: If in doubt about who has the right-of-way, yield to the motorcycle.

Tips for riders:

  • Wear all the gear, all the time: This includes a helmet that meets DOT, Snell or ECE safety standards and safety gear designed for riding. In all weather conditions, wearing proper motorcycle safety gear is key to reducing the severity of injuries in the event of a crash.
  • Be bright and visible: Protect yourself and your passengers from serious injury by choosing gear that has bright colors and reflective materials.
  • Maneuver intersections safely: Especially where oncoming traffic is waiting to turn left, adjust your lane position and reduce your speed so you’ll have an escape path or time to stop if you need it.
  • Share the road with vehicles: Never assume a driver has seen you. They may not accurately judge your distance or speed of approach. As best you can, stay out of drivers’ blind spots.

For more detailed information regarding Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month visit the  official NHTSA website.

Photo by jaaron