May Means Motorcycle Safety
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a national initiative aimed at getting drivers and motorcyclists to “Share the Road.” Typically, May is one of the deadliest months for bikers, as many begin riding again after taking the winter months off.
2007 marked the tenth consecutive year that motorcycle fatalities increased in the U.S. With over 5,000 fatalities and 100,000 injured bikers in the year alone, motorcycle safety has become a national health concern. Overall, motorcycles accounted for 13 percent of total traffic fatalities in 2007, while totaling fewer than 3 percent of the registered vehicles on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed the model “Share the Road” to help educate both bikers and motorists on motorcycle safety. This model includes materials such as operator licensing manuals, public service announcements, brochures, pamphlets, posters, and websites. The NHTSA notes that two contributing factors that add to the uptick in motorcycle fatalities are:
- Age – As more and more bikers get older, their reaction time begins to diminish. In 1997, 32 percent of motorcycle fatalities involved those over the age of forty. Ten years later that number rose to 47 percent.
- Helmets – A recent study found that motorcyclists are 37 percent less likely to die in an accident when wearing a helmet, yet only 20 states require bikers to wear one. Bikers should consider wearing a helmet when they ride.
At Lundy Law we see firsthand the results of serious Pennsylvania motorcycle accidents and would like to share some important motorcycle safety tips to help make your next ride a safe ride:
- Motorcycles are small and often difficult for drivers to see. Use caution when riding as it can be difficult to judge the speed and distance of an approaching motorcycle.
- Always be careful of being in the blind spot of automobiles.
- Maintain proper distance from other motorists on the road, as bikers are often affected by minor elements that may not phase a motorist, including pot holes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces, grooved paving, and railroad crossings.
- Avoid riding in bad weather.
- Wear protective gear and consider wearing a Department of Transportation compliant helmet. Proper safety gear can help save lives.
- Use hand and turn signals together to draw more attention to yourself when turning.
- Position yourself in a lane where you will be most visible to other drivers. Never weave in and out of traffic.
- Obey the general safety rules of the road.
By taking the necessary measures to ride safe, such as considering wearing a helmet and other protective gear, riding sober, and taking motorcycle training classes, bikers will help ensure their own safety. And after all, a safe ride is always a fun ride.
For more information on Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month please visit: www.msf-usa.org.
And remember: Enjoy the open roads Pennsylvania! Just be safe while doing so.
If you have been in a serious motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania, Lundy Law is comprised of knowledgeable personal injury lawyers who practice in several states. We have offices, not just a drop box, located conveniently throughout Pennsylvania in Center City, Hunting Park, Blue Bell, and Northeast Philadelphia, as well as in Wilmington, Delaware, and Cherry Hill, New Jersey.