Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys® – May is Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month.
As the weather starts to cooperate and spring finally arrives across the nation, more and more bikers are hopping on their machines and grabbing the first taste of the open road after a seemingly very long off season.
Each spring is an ideal time to take the cover off the bike, get it ready to run, but it is also a great time to refresh the memory about potential dangers that bikers have to face when hitting the open road. That’s why the month of May has been designated National Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month by many groups and government agencies with support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
In recognition of National Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month, here are a few tips to ensure extra safety on the roads. If you’re driving a car, treat motorcycles like they are as big as other vehicles. That means ensuring proper spacing between your car and the bike when following or changing lanes. Leave space between yourself and the bike when you’re pulling in front of them. This allows you and the motorcyclist and an ample amount of space, and therefore more reaction time, minimizing the risk of an incident.
For riders, always be visible. Dress for your riding conditions; if you are riding at night, don’t wear black, wear neon or something that will reflect light. Always try to find the open spaces on the road; this allows you more reaction time in the event of an incident like a driver cutting you off. Always avoid the center lane—being the busiest lane, it’s where you are most likely to be involved in an accident. It is much safer to ride in the left or right lane although do be careful in the right lane near off-ramps—cars sometimes cut across traffic at the last minute because they’ve missed their exit. One final tip, make sure you are only signalling when you need to turn. Sometimes we slip and knock the signals, so just double check to make sure you aren’t sending the wrong message.
In recognition of this month’s importance to road safety, governments at both state and municipal levels have recognized the month’s importance to bikers throughout the nation. The Governor of Arkansas has issued a press release affirming that state’s support, a number of the municipal governments have already released statements signalling their support for the idea, as well as offering a few tips and pointers for riders and drivers alike. The mayor’s office of Erie County, New York, put out a press release advising riders of useful links and contact numbers that they can use to find out more information and further their motorcycle riding know-how—they even offer tips to automobile drivers that should help to spot motorcycles and share the road.
Many ABATE chapters across the Nation will be holding Motorcycle Safety and Awareness events. Check with your local chapter to see what is happening in May and get involved!