Some tips for motorcycles road safety
In 2015, 4,668 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents, a decrease from 2014 (4,986). Those deaths account for 14 percent of the total highway fatalities this year.
“Motorcyclists will be out in force as the weather gets warmer, which is why May is the perfect month for Motorcycle Safety Awareness,” said Madison County Sheriff Riley.“Serious and fatal crashes with motorcycles are on the rise, and riding helmet with reflective material usage is on the decline. We all need to be more aware of motorcyclists in order to save lives.”Reflective Helmet usage and safety vest remained the same from 2014 to 2015 at 60 percent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 1,630 lives were saved in 2014 because of proper reflective helmet usage
Sheriff Riley offered tips to drivers on how to prevent a crash with a motorcycle:
• Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the road as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
• Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
• Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
• Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
• Never drive distracted or impaired.
• If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling 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.
• Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
“Motorcyclists must also take precautions to remain safe on the road,” the sheriff added. Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these steps:
• Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
• Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
• Wear a state Department of Transportation-compliant helmet and other protective gear.