May is Motorcycle Safety Month and serves as a reminder to us all the importance of safely sharing the road with motorcyclists.
With the warm Georgia weather upon us, it’s likely you’ll start seeing more motorcycles on the road. This month, we hope to raise awareness towards motorcycle safety and encourage everyone to be mindful of cyclists. Below are some tips for all drivers to help keep motorcyclists safer.
Car and Truck Driver Tips:
- Look twice and be aware of blind spots. Drivers are often most aware of large freight trucks when driving, as it’s harder for them to maneuver and be aware of smaller vehicles. But the same limitations apply to motorcycles, as they are much more likely to fit into a blind spot. Always look twice and be aware of your surroundings when driving.
- Keep a safe distance. Motorcycles have smaller brake lights, so it is often more difficult to see when they brake – and even the speed in which they brake. Maintaining a safe distance allows for avoidance of a collision in the event of a sudden change in pace.
- Be mindful of a motorcycle’s limitations. Cars and trucks are equipped with more safety features, such as airbags and seatbelts. The typical motorcycle is openly exposed and riders are more likely to experience serious injury or death in the event of an accident. Regardless of how much of a rush you’re in or other circumstances, it’s important to respect motorcyclists on Georgia roadways.
Motorcycle Driver Tips:
- Complete a motorcycle safety course. Driving a motorcycle is obviously much different than driving other vehicles, and even an experienced motorcyclist can learn something new from a safety course. It’s important to understand all functions and maneuvers of a motorcycle, as well as what to be aware of when driving one. Find a class near you by visiting www.msf-usa.org.
- Be aware of your surroundings. It’s not just the responsibility of car and truck drivers to stay aware of their blind spots and surroundings – it’s also motorcyclists’ responsibilities. You can prevent an accident too.
- Always wear protective equipment. Not only are helmets an obvious way to stay safe, but they are required in many states. Other protective gear, such as jackets, gloves, pants and boots can add an extra layer of needed protection in the event of a crash. There are countless statistics that prove helmets and other protective equipment save lives in motorcycle accidents. In the event of a crash, protective equipment can be the difference between life and death, so properly equip yourself each time you get on a bike.
So far this year in Georgia, reports show that there have been over 2,000 traffic fatalities – 12% of which were motorcyclists. While motorcycles are a great way to experience the open road and can be exciting, they can also be very dangerous. So please join us in educating yourself and others during Motorcycle Safety Month.