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May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

This is great news. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) launched the new Get Up to Speed on Motorcycles campaign to help motorists understand standard motorcycle driving behaviors and to learn how to drive safely around motorcycles.

Motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities while motorcycles make up just 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States. Motorcyclists are about 27 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash, and 5 times more likely to be injured.

The NHTSA has some general suggestions on how to stay save on public roads:

  • 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.
  • If someone you know drives a motorcycle, tell him or her to always wear a helmet—even if the law doesn’t require it. According to NHTSA, an estimated 740 lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.

I think that this is just a fraction of what you could do better as a rider. Isn’t it?!

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp