May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
Working in healthcare, we see a lot of patients come through our doors that have been involved in accidents of incidents that could have been prevented.
With the warmer weather (finally) setting in, and May being Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, we wanted to take a minute to educate and remind everyone to be diligent and conscious of riders while you are driving this summer.
Motorcycle Safety 101
First off, it is extremely important for both motorists and motorcyclists to be aware of their surroundings while on the road. This means making a full stop at an intersection, and really taking the extra second to look both ways. You should also know your car’s blind spots, and make sure that your mirrors are adjusted properly. While it may seem like common sense, most of us tend to forget our turn signals while doing our daily, routine, driving around town. Signaling when turning, or changing lanes, is one of the easiest things you can do to let other drivers and motorcyclist know what you are doing.
Distracted driving has also been on the rise. Distractions during driving could mean the difference between seeing a motorcyclist or not when preparing to change lanes. Don’t let one text change anyone’s life forever.
Simple Tips – For Everyone
We encourage all drivers, to please follow these safety tips to be more aware of motorcycles and to help keep all on our roadways safe:
- Slow down, assess your surroundings, and don’t rush when crossing intersections, entering the roadway from a parking lot or driveway, or turning left. Always give yourself enough time to thoroughly check for motorcyclists.
- When turning left, ensure there is enough time and space for the motorcyclist to clear the roadway before you initiate the left turn.
- Don’t follow motorcyclists too closely and allow sufficient braking cushion between your vehicle and the motorcycle in front of you to give your vehicle enough room to come to a complete stop without a collision. Remember, a motorcyclist’s brake lights might not always be engaged when a motorcycle decelerates.
- Always double-check your blind spots when changing lanes or starting to entering or exiting the roadways. Adjust your rear- and side-view mirrors and use them properly.
Riders need to take precautions as well. Take a defensive driving course, wear protective gear and keep your bike in its best working condition. Also, be aware of any road hazards and dangerous weather conditions. Most importantly, make sure to always wear a helmet—even if the law doesn’t require it. According to NHTSA, an estimated 740 lives could have been saved in 2015 if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Lastly, did you know that grass clippings left on the road can be extremely dangerous to motorcyclists? They actually act like a sheet of ice when on the road, causing the bike to slip and slide. Next time you cut your lawn, make sure that most – if not all – of the grass clippings stay in your yard.
We hope that these quick, and simple tips for riding safely this summer, and anytime, will encourage you to be more aware of others on the road. Please share this information as well, we all need a little reminding to share the road responsibly.