Warm weather has arrived, and motorcyclists are eager to hit the road. It’s only fitting that May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. Motorists and motorcyclists are urged to “share the road safely” in order to help prevent motorcycle crashes, deaths and injuries on Missouri roadways.
The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety reports 13 percent of all Missouri traffic fatalities in 2020 involved a motorcycle, with 117 motorcyclist lives lost.
Since motorcyclists have very little protection in the event of a crash, all vehicle operators must learn to share the road safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers several tips to drivers on how to prevent a fatal crash with a motorcycle:
- Put your phone down. Don’t text and drive. Don’t drive distracted.
- Allow motorcycles the full width of a lane at all times.
- Don’t cut off a motorcycle.
- When approaching an intersection – always look left, right, then left again.
- Allow extra following distance to motorcycles. Bumping into the rear end of a motorcycle is not like bumping into a car.
- Don’t rely on lane-change indicators. Always head check. Often times, lane-change indicators will not detect the small footprint of a motorcycle. This is stated in most vehicle owner’s manuals.
Motorcyclists also must take precautions to remain safe on the road by following several steps:
- Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
- Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed and trained.
- Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
- Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
- Never ride distracted or impaired.
- Anticipate the moves of other drivers.
- Be extra cautious of road conditions and debris.
Experts recommend motorcyclists complete some type of training before hitting the road. The Missouri Motorcycle Safety Program offers courses for beginners and advanced riders.
About Jacquelyn S. Gonz, Attorney At Law
For over 28 years, Jackie Gonz has helped people throughout southeastern Missouri navigate life’s most difficult challenges. Whether it’s a family law matter, a bankruptcy or an unforeseen injury, Jackie’s goal is simple: help her clients move on with their life. With compassionate guidance and a tenacious fight – Jackie delivers results. Give her a call today: (573) 207-9599.