May is motorcycle awareness month and the perfect time to review precautionary driving measures. As the weather warms up, more and more motorcycle enthusiasts will fill the roads across the U.S.
Motorcycle awareness month was created to stop the decline of helmet usage, and decrease the number of motorcycle crashes and injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association focuses on equipping motorists with the tools necessary to anticipate and respond to motorcyclists on the road. By gaining a better understanding of a motorcyclist’s visibility and weaving techniques, motorists will have a better plan of action when sharing the road.
Tips for motorists approved by the NHTSA include:
· Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
· If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Ensure the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
· Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
· Always allow increased follow distance when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these steps:
· Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
· Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
· Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
· Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
· Ride in the middle of the lane for maximum visibility to drivers.