Share the road

Motorcycles have always evoked an image of freedom, individuality and rebellion. With that freedom, there is also the possibility of an injury.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash. In 2017, there were 4,990 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes — a 5% decrease from a year prior.

In spite of this reduction, motorcyclists remain overrepresented as a proportion of all traffic deaths. This is a stark reminder that much work remains to establish a lasting downward trend.

Motorcyclists have the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle driver on the roadway. For the rest of the year, drivers are reminded to share the road with motorcyclists and to be extra alert.

Motorcycles can make drivers nervous because of their size and lack of safety devices. Motorcycles are smaller and harder to spot. They also lack safety devices like seatbelts and airbags, making motorcyclists more at risk in collisions. It can be nerve-wracking to drive a vehicle that leaves riders around you vulnerable. There are a few tips to ease the nerves of motorcyclists and drivers:

Motorcyclists

Wear protective gear. Wear protective gear all the time, no matter how short the ride. A rider not wearing a helmet is five times more likely to sustain a critical head injury.

Be seen. Wear reflective clothing and put reflective tape on your clothing and motorcycle. It’s also recommended to add auxiliary lights to your ride.

Practice safe riding. Obey speed limits, put a generous distance between you and other vehicles, stay out of a driver’s blind spot, and ride sober.

Ride SMART. Ride Sober. Ride Motorcycle Endorsed. Ride Alert. Use the Right Gear. Ride Trained.

Drivers

Show caution. Allow greater following distance. Be alert at intersections — most crashes occur when a driver fails to see a motorcyclist and turns left in front of a motorcycle.

Check blind spots. Motorcycles are smaller than cars; it’s that much easier for them to slip into your blind spot — especially when they attempt to pass you. Be sure to swivel your head to check blind sports before changing lanes.

Never share a lane. Always give motorcycles the full lane width.

Seneca County Safe Communities

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