May is Motorcycle Awareness Month

Whether you are on a motorcycle, driving a car or hauling a semi, motorcycle awareness month applies to everybody on the road. Across the US, states are reminding motorists and motorcyclists to “Watch for Motorcycles” in an effort to prevent accidents, injuries and deaths.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following tips to motorists on how to avoid mishaps with motorcycles:

  • The same rights apply to motorcycles as they do to any other vehicle on the road, motorcycles should be allowing the full width of a lane at all times
  • When changing lanes or merging with traffic, always use signals
  • Motorcycles are small, check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, at intersections make sure to double-check your blind spots
  • Never drive distracted or impaired

Motorcycles are also responsible for their safety and the safety of those around them and should follow these steps:

  • Wear a DOT-approved helmet and other protective gear, including gloves and boots
  • Obey all traffic laws and make sure you are properly licensed in your state
  • Wear brightly colored clothing and use protective tape to increase visibility
  • Ride in the middle of the lane instead of hugging one side or the other, it will keep you from riding in blind spots
  • Never ride distracted or impaired

Motorcyclists should also anticipate the moves of other drivers as well as watch the road for debris and other road hazards.  Training is also important and most states offer free training.