Safety Tip of the Month
May 2018
Motorcycle Awareness

In recognition of National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May, the National Safety Council reminds riders – and drivers – to do their part.

Although motorcycles make up 3% of all registered vehicles and only .7% of all vehicle miles traveled in the U.S., motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities, 17% of all occupant fatalities and 4% of all occupant injuries in 2014, according to Injury Facts® 2017.

Nearly one-third of riders who died in a motorcycle crash in 2014 were alcohol-impaired, and in 2015, speeding was a factor in more than 30% of motorcycle crashes.

“When motorcycles and other vehicles collide, it is usually the other (non-motorcycle) driver who violates the motorcyclist’s right of way,” according to an issue statement from NHTSA. “There is a continuing need to help other motorists ‘think’ motorcycles and to educate motorcyclists to be aware of this problem.”

Drivers: Do you ever think about motorcycles?

The vast majority of vehicles on the road are not motorcycles. They’re cars and vans and trucks. It’s quite possible that as a driver you rarely think about motorcycles. This is a problem!

Always “LOOK TWICE for motorcycles”

Skill and Gear Can Protect You! A helmet is the most important equipment a biker can use. In 2015, 1,922 motorcyclists who died were not wearing a helmet. Helmets are estimated to have saved an estimated 1,772 lives in 2015, according to Injury Facts® 2017. An additional 740 lives could have been saved that year if all had worn helmets. A full-coverage helmet offers the most protection Not every state has a helmet law, but even if yours doesn’t, wear one anyway. A motorcycle crash is a “violent event.” More than 80% of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, according to NHTSA. When buying a helmet, look for the DOT sticker, which guarantees the helmet meets safety standards required by law.

Why do drivers often violate motorcyclists’ right of way?
  • Motorcycles are relatively small and drivers don’t see them
  • Drivers don’t anticipate motorcycles’ movements
  • The driver’s view of the motorcyclist is obstructed, often by the vehicle’s blind spots or other vehicles
  • The driver is distracted