May Brings Awareness to Motorcycle Safety

We all know the feeling: Once the sun starts shining and the temperatures warm up, the pull of the outdoors can be irresistible. Activities like walking, jogging, biking, and gardening are undertaken with zeal, but one of the most popular is also one of the most hazardous – riding a motorcycle. To remind drivers of the seasonal return of motorcycles to the road and to promote safe riding among motorcyclists, the month of May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Just a cursory glance at headlines from last year are enough to demonstrate the need to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities on Kentucky roads:

There are a lot of motorcycles out there to watch out for. According to the Federal Highway Administration, there were 8.4 million private and commercial motorcycles on U.S. roads in 2014, compared with 8 million in 2009. Motorcycle wrecks can happen any time to any rider, no matter how experienced. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 92,000 motorcyclists were injured and 4,586 people died in motorcycle crashes in 2014. All motorists should safely “share the road” with motorcycle operators. Consider:
  • A motorcycle can easily be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spots or be masked by objects or backgrounds because of its narrow profile. There is less to see, so take an extra moment to look, particularly at intersections and when changing lanes.
  • A motorcycle can look farther away than it really is because of its small size, so judge it to be closer than it appears.
  • Allow a following distance of at least three or four seconds, because motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or rolling off the throttle, which does not activate the brake light. They also need more time to stop safely on slippery pavement.
  • While motorcycles are highly maneuverable, do not assume that they can (or should be forced to) get out of harm’s way.
Motorcycle operators can help avoid wrecks by:
  • Wearing brightly colored clothes and turning on headlamps to increase visibility
  • Never riding while impaired or intoxicated
  • Not speeding
  • Wearing protective gear, including eyewear and a DOT-rated helmet
  • Keeping skills sharp by taking a motorcycle safety course.
If you have any questions about this topic, have been injured in a motorcycle accident, or have lost a loved one in a KY motorcycle crash, trust your case to the attorneys at the Johnson Law Firm. Founded and overseen by a lawyer who rides (his favorite bike is his Harley Davidson CVO Ultra Classic), the Pikeville, KY-based Johnson Law Firm has represented motorcyclists who have been injured in a wide variety of situations. We have over 15 years of experience helping people, and we can help you. Contact us by calling 606-437-4488 or filling out our online form.

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