Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 4:07 PM EDT
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With roadways clear of ice and snow, and warmer weather on the way, you may hear the sound of motorcycles on the roads. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, Brian Bouchard has the story.

“Between 2018 and 2021, 96 motorcyclists died in crashes, and of those 96, 88 were the operators and 8 of them were passengers”

Lauren Stewart is the Director of the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety. She says with the snow gone, the temperature warming up, and the prospect of more nice days ahead, Stewart says in the coming month, drivers should be aware many are out and about on two wheels.

“May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month for us and it’s the month where we encourage all motorists to share the road with other road users but especially to watch out for Motorcycle Operators. And we just need to be more aware that there are smaller vehicles on the road than we are used to seeing and what we may be driving ourselves and to pay attention and look out for those smaller vehicles”

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, last year more than 59,000 motorcycles were registered in the State of Maine. With all those riders out on the roads, Stewart has these tips for drivers:

• Always allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane

• Always use a turn signal when changing lanes or merging

• Check all mirrors and blind spots, especially at intersections

• Take a second look before turning left, many crashes with motorcycles happen when a motorist is turning left

• When following a motorcyclist, allow a 3 to 4 second distance between you and the motorcyclist

• Never drive distracted or impaired.

And as for motorcycle riders themselves, Stewart has these tips to help stay safe when hitting the road:

“We ask that they wear all the proper and appropriate safety gear that they can possibly find. Goggles, helmets, jacket, boots. Everything that they can to protect themselves from severe injury in a crash. We ask that they obey all the traffic laws that all motor vehicles have to obey. That they also pay extra attention for those vehicles that might be distracted. Be extra careful in intersections to make sure that those cars see you.”

In addition Stewart adds that motorcyclists should wear brightly colored clothing to increase visibility, not drive distracted or impaired, and ride a motorcycle that is appropriate to their skill level.

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8

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