May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

If you own a bike, the warmer weather probably has you pining for the open road. If you don’t own a bike, it’s important to remember that it is that time of year when motorcycles will be out, enjoying the sunshine.

Some may argue that motorcycle safety is the responsibility of the operator. While it is important that cyclists take responsibility for their own safety, road safety is the responsibility of everyone.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), when a motorcycle is involved in a traffic accident, it is not typically the motorcycle operator who is at fault.

Organizations like the NHTSA, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) and a variety of state and local agencies work to increase motorcycle safety awareness each year. It’s likely you have seen or heard an ad or public service announcement (PSA) on your favorite local radio or television station.

There are plenty of PSAs available online, many of them graphic. In my research, I came across this one and chose to include it because it depicts who motorcycle enthusiasts really are.

As a car, truck or SUV operator sharing the road with motorcycle operators, please remember to:

  • Avoid distractions while driving
  • Double, even triple-check blind spots
  • Be cognizant of the location of others driving around you, especially motorcyclists
  • Listen

Meanwhile, some important items motorcycle operators should keep in mind include:

  • Know and follow the rules of the road
  • Understand that car, truck and SUV drivers are not anticipating your actions
    • Drive defensively
  • Be conspicuous
    • Choose lane positions that make you more visible
    • Ride with your headlight on
    • Wear brightly colored, visible clothing
  • Wear a helmet