Whether you are a motorist or a motorcyclist, everyone should be reminded to ‘Share the Road’ during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May. The effort by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation is to reduce injuries and fatalities on our nation’s roadways while getting motorists to look out for one another.
The latest data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis revealed there were 5,579 motorcyclists killed in 2020, an increase of 11% from the year before. An estimated 82,528 motorcyclists were injured in 2020, a 2% decrease from motorcyclists injured the year prior, the NHTSA reported.
The agency reported in states without universal helmet laws, 57% of motorcyclists killed in 2020 were not wearing helmets compared to 11% in states with universal helmet laws. In addition, 36% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2020 were riding without valid motorcycle licenses.
To prevent a crash with a motorcycle, the NHTSA has these tips for motorists:
- Allow a motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times as its operator has all the rights of the road as any other motorist
- Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic
- If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful because motorcycle signals often don’t turn off on their own and could have been forgotten
- Always ensure that 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 more follow distance when behind a motorcycle as this gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency
The NHTSA has these tips for motorcyclists when they are riding:
- Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear
- Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility
- Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed
- Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn
- Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers
With MAPFRE Insurance, Motorcycle Experience and Safety Course Discounts are available for licensed drivers who have more than one year of motorcycle driving experience. Additional savings could be available if you’ve participated in a motorcycle safety course. Contact your independent agent for more information!