13 May Motorcycle Awareness: Look Twice, Save a Life!
Now that the warm weather is here once again, we are starting to see an increase in motorcycles back on the roads. While motorcycles can be fun and an exhilarating way to travel, the risks associated with them become more apparent this time of year. “Motorcycle deaths accounted for 15% of total fatalities in 2013 and that number has increased in 14 of the last 16 years,” says The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Their research shows that per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists, are around 39 times more likely than car passengers to die in a crash. “When motorcycles crash with other vehicles, the other vehicle driver often violates the motorcyclist’s right-of-way (NHTSA, 2011). Sometimes motorcycles may be harder to see because they are smaller visual targets than trucks or cars, which is why extra precaution is needed to ensure the safety of both you and others on the road.
Driver awareness is needed to make our roadways safer for everyone and will help reduce the number of deaths associated with motorcycles. According to the NHTSA, these are a few things to keep in mind now that there are more motorcyclists on the road:
1. Never drive while distracted because doing so can result in tragic consequences for everyone on the road.
2. Share the road! A motorcyclist has the exact same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as any other motorist on the road. Vehicle size is not a factor.
3. Allow motorcyclists a full lane’s width and don’t attempt to share the lane.
4. Know your blind spots and perform a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots at intersections and before entering/exiting a lane of traffic.
5. Never tailgate….ever! Motorcycles can stop much more quickly than cars in most circumstances. Tailgating gives you little time to react and can end really badly.
Although many motorcycle fatalities involve another vehicle, a lot of them are single-vehicle crashes, or accidents that could have been avoided with basic knowledge or experience. Motorcyclists are responsible for their own safety, obeying traffic laws, and use of good judgment. “Distraction, speed, not wearing a helmet, operator error-these are all elements that contribute to injuries and deaths for motorcycle riders,” says Shawn Garnets of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). “Wear your protective gear, make sure you are visible, stay within speed limits — and always ride sober.”
Stay safe out there and share the road!
The SAVA Insurance Team