May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month!

May 13, 2024

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month!

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. What does that mean? That means there’s an entire 31 days devoted to creating additional awareness of motorcycle riders for four-wheel motorists and all roadway users. Here are a few things everyone should think about when on the road.

Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles. Because of its small size, a motorcycle can easily be hidden next to a car or truck, or even things like bushes or large signs. If you’re driving a car or truck, double check your blind spots, especially before turning or changing lanes.

Use your turn signals. It helps everyone on the road know what you want to do so they can adjust and not run into you.

Keep a safe distance. Motorcyclists often slow by rolling off the throttle or downshifting, so the brake light may not come on. Give yourself more space (about 3 or 4 seconds of distance) when following a motorcyclist.

Understand that riders often change lane positions for a variety of reasons — debris in the road, wind, passing vehicles, and to improve their ability to see and be seen. They aren’t moving around the lane to be annoying.

Already one of us? Fantastic! Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Here are a few things you can do as a rider to make yourself more visible and safer on the road.

For starters, wear bright gear and a light colored helmet. There are a million options to choose from, from bright white to high-viz. The easier you make it to be seen, the easier you will be seen! Speaking of which, make sure your headlights are on at all times and consider using your high beam during the day (where allowed) to be more visible. If possible, flash your brake light when slowing and before stopping.

Tires? Controls? Lights? Fluids? Check! Before you go riding, look over your bike make sure nothing is leaking, all the controls work properly, your tires look good and they are aired up properly. There’s nothing worse than needing to call a tow truck in the middle of an amazing ride.

Avoid riding in blind spots of cars or trucks. They have a hard enough time seeing us without us making it more difficult for them.

Take a formal safety course. Even if you already ride, it can be a great refresher. You’ll learn how to handle your motorcycle in normal situations as well as navigate unexpected obstacles, and you can learn how to maneuver in an emergency situation.

Pretend you’re invisible and assume others can’t see you. You’ll find that you will ride in a hyper-aware mindset, paying more attention to indicators that can help you anticipate and navigate other motorists, especially distracted drivers who may not notice you. You’ll also be more aware of potential hazards and situations that come up.

Always ride within your limit. If you’re riding with a group of more experienced friends, remember that everyone rides their own ride. Ride in a way that is comfortable and fun for you so that you can reminisce with friends about how awesome a ride was instead of being stuck in a ditch waiting to be towed home.

Practice, practice, practice. Find an empty, traffic-free lot and practice your riding skills, such as quick stops, u-turns, and swerving. Practicing not only makes you a better rider, it’ll help you become a more confident rider.

Ride rested and with a clear head. It’s happened to all of us. The weather’s beautiful, your fuel tank is full, your bike is ready for the road except … you woke up with a pounding headache, or you just got in a fight with your best friend, or maybe after putting on all your gear, suddenly, you’re just not feeling it. It’s ok to opt out of riding! Riding takes focus and we do our best when we’re calm and alert. Also, listen to your body, you actually do have Spidey senses.

So whether you’re a car or truck driver, motorcyclist, scooter rider, bicyclist, skateboarder, or pedestrian, we all need to look out for one another. Let’s look twice for everyone on the road.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness


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