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Motorcycles Are Everywhere...

DucatiBe on the lookout for motorcycles and motor scooters! "LOOK TWICE AND SAVE A LIFE!"  More people are seeking relief from the expense at the gas pump by riding motorcyles. But remember, riding a motoorcyle is a dangerous activity! A motorcycle course is a prerequisite for anyone who is not an experienced rider. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers courses nationwide; Click Here to find a Motorcycle Course near you. Click Here to view Motorcycle Controls. To identify unsafe motorcycle helmets, Click Here.

"Share the Road” -- Motorcyclists Are at Risk from Other Drivers.

  • With warmer weather here, more motorcycles are back out on the road – and the drivers of passenger vehicles need to be alert.
  • Motorcycles are small and may be difficult for drivers of other vehicles to see.
  • Motorcycles have a much smaller profile than other vehicles. This can make it difficult to judge the speed and distance of an approaching motorcycle.
  • After a crash, the drivers of other vehicles involved often say they never saw the motorcyclist and were unable to respond in time.
  • In the event of a crash, a motorcyclist is much more vulnerable and in much greater danger physically than are other vehicle drivers.
  • In fact, per vehicle mile traveled, NHTSA estimates that in 2006, motorcyclists were about 35 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash.

 

“Share the Road” -- Motorcyclist Deaths are Rising.  

  • In 2006, motorcycle rider fatalities increased for the ninth straight year.
  • During 2006, 4,810 motorcyclists lost their lives in fatal highway crashes.
  • That means motorcycle riders were involved in more than one out of nine of all U.S. road fatalities during 2006.
  • Fifty-five percent of all fatalities in motorcycle crashes in 2006 involved another vehicle in addition to the motorcycle in the crash.
  • In 2006, 93 percent of all two-vehicle crashes involving a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle in which the motorcycle operator died occurred on non-interstate roadways.
  • In 2006, 51 percent of all two-vehicle crashes involving a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle in which the motorcycle operator died were intersection crashes.
  • In two-vehicle motorcycle crashes involving a motorcycle and another type of vehicle, in 40 percent of the crashes the other vehicle was turning left when the motorcycle was going straight, passing, or overtaking the vehicle.


“Share the Road” – May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
 

Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway. Drivers of other passenger vehicles should always remember to follow these steps to help keep motorcyclists safe:
  • Allow a motorcyclist the full lane width. Although it may seem as though there is enough room in a traffic lane for both an automobile and a motorcycle, the motorcycle needs the full room to ma­neuver safely. Do not share the lane.
  • Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows the mo­torcyclist to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.
  • Remember that motorcyclists are often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or missed in a quick look due to their smaller size. Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.
  • Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a mo­torcycle – motorcycle signals usually are not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.
  • Remember that road conditions which are minor annoyances to passenger vehicles pose major hazards to motor­cyclists. Be aware that motorcyclists may need to change speed or adjust their position within a lane suddenly in reaction to road and traffic conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces, pavement seams, railroad crossings, and grooved pavement.
  • Allow more following distance, three or four sec­onds, when following a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emer­gency. And don’t tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.

Motorcyclists have responsibilities, too, by following the rules of the roadway, being alert to other drivers, and always wearing protective gear. Too often, in a crash, the drivers of other vehicles involved say they never saw the motorcyclist and failed to respond in time. This is no excuse. Too many lives are being lost. Our message to all drivers is: Help make this the first year in recent years when motorcycle fatalities do not increase. “Share the Road” with motorcycles.

-From the Editors of DriverEd.com