RAMAPO, N.Y. -- The month of May is recognized as National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a time for drivers to be reminded to share the road with motorcycles, and riders to be reminded to make themselves more visible to others, said officials with the Ramapo Police Department.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycles account for just three percent of all registered vehicles in the United States, yet account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Looking at accident rates per vehicle mile traveled, NHTSA estimates motorcyclists are 26 times more likely than car passengers to die in a crash and five times more likely to be injured. With this in mind, all operators should follow these simple tips:
Motor Vehicle Operators:
- A motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots or masked by objects outside a car. Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles.
- Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is.
- Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance.
- Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change.
- Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle.
- Motorcyclists should avoid riding in poor weather conditions and on poorly paved roads.
- Motorcyclists should position their motorcycles to avoid a driver's blind spot.
- Motorcyclists must use turn signals for every turn or lane change.
- Avoid the center of lane when traffic slows. It’s best to have a quick exit strategy when traffic suddenly grinds to a halt.
- Dress to be seen and protected.
- Target open spaces. The more space you surround yourself with, the better.
- Never come between a car and its off ramp.
- Know the limitations of your motorcycle and ride within those parameters.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.