May is Motorcycle Awareness Month!

As the weather is getting warmer after that very long winter, is it prime riding time for motorcyclists. While we should all be careful on the road all year long, May’s Motorcycle Awareness Month is a great reminder of what drivers and motorcyclists can do to make the roads a safer place. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) first initiated this awareness month in the early 80s. It has since been their mission to spread awareness and reduce accidents among motorcyclists.

Most riders understand the risk when choosing to take their motorcycle out for a spin, and more often than not they practice safe road etiquette. For motorcyclists, their biggest danger is another driver on the road. Riders are 27-32 times more vulnerable than car drivers and the most common cause of an accident is the negligence of another driver. It is crucial for drivers to stay alert and aware while maintaining safe driving practices. When everyone does their part, it makes the road a safer place.

In Pennsylvania, helmets are considered optional for anyone older than 21 with more than 2 years of riding experience. Emergency room doctors recommend wearing a helmet because, statistically, riders who do not wear a helmet are 39% more likely to die in a crash.

It’s a two-way street! Other drivers need to follow safe driving practices while on the road just as much as motorcyclists, if not more. The number one safety tip for drivers is to pay attention! Be mindful of your blind spots when changing lanes and anticipate the flow of traffic. Some drivers may not be used to motorcycles so it can be hard to anticipate their next move. In this case it is best just to give them some space!

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation releases crash statistics for all reported accidents on the road. Some of the statistics worth noting are:

  • Out of the 3,398 motorcycle accidents, 215 of them were fatal.
  • 93.4% of motorcycle accidents resulted in injury or death.
  • Motorcycle crashes make up 20.3% of all fatal crashes but only 3.3% of all crashes

By following a few simple road safety tips, we can reduce some risks on the road. It is always important to mind the weather, especially during these rainy spring days! Be mindful of your following distance and pay special attention at intersections. We hope that these cold gloomy days are behind us, and we can all get out end enjoy some sun!