May is not only the month for the celebration of Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. The nation will also honor Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which celebrates the act of drivers of four-wheeled vehicles safely sharing the road with motorcyclists. The most recent statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that motorcycle deaths accounted for 26 times the deaths of car accident victims. Likewise, car drivers are the leading cause of accidents that result in the deaths of motorcyclists. These statistics are pertinent, especially in light of certain states experiencing a rise in the number of motorcycle accident fatalities. Tennessee, for instance, experienced a nearly 25 percent spike in motorcycle deaths this year as compared to last year.
The IIHS says that 62 percent of 2014 motorcycle deaths nationwide happened during the period of May-September, which means that warmer weather effectively introduces motorcycle season, and with it, opportunities for accidents on the road if riders and drivers alike are not careful. In honor of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, here are a few tidbits about motorcycle riding that may be helpful whether you’re a beginning or an experienced rider.
Stay Off the Highway
Most accidents between cars and motorcycles occur on the highway, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If you must use the highway, make use of the HOV lane, if available, which is open to motorcyclists and has less car traffic.
Make Use of Available Motorcycle Training
Many states offer free or low-cost motorcycle safety training courses in conjunction with programs set forth by their respective highway safety patrol divisions and DMVs. Check your state’s official website to see if training programs in your state are currently being offered.
Upgrade Your Ride
You may love the old Harley that your grandfather passed down to you, but it may be safer to invest in a new bike. Today, motorcycles are equipped with safety features previously seen only in cars. Motorcycles now come with airbags and advanced braking systems that provide additional security for riders. Do your research before hitting the road during the busy season on a bike that lacks all the best safety features.
Wear a Helmet
Currently, 31 states do not have universal helmet laws for motorcyclists. Even if your state does not andate that a helmet be worn, it is in your best interest to do so. Helmets have shown to be 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and 67 percent effective in preventing a brain injury after a collision or fall.
Another part of motorcycle safety awareness is knowing what to do if you’re in an accident while riding your bike. To learn more about what to do in the event of an accident, and when an attorney is necessary, check out our motorcycle accident information guide or fill out our free case review form today.