You’re only one bike ride away from a good mood, but it’s all fun and games until that one ride is your last.
It might be a bummer to be reminded of upsetting truths about your happy-go-lucky ride, but it’s necessary to spread awareness and ensure safety. Drivers of all vehicles are urged to be mindful and safe; particularly during the following top 10 summer dates with the most motorcycle crash deaths provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:
While half of these dates have come and gone, don’t dismiss the nearing five “most dangerous” days of July and August. Statistics also show that of the 2015 motorcycle fatality victims in Oklahoma, 9.4 percent had been drinking, 27.9 percent were driving at an unsafe speed, and 55.7 percent were not wearing a helmet. The overwhelming majority of motorcyclists have had no formal training because they were self-taught or learned from family or friends.
AAA is calling for caution for motorcyclists and those who share the road with them. They’re also offering the list of tips below that ALL drivers should pay attention to:
All travelers should share the road and give each vehicle appropriate room in their lane, motorcycles included! Motorcycles might be hard to spot compared to cars and SUVs, especially in blind spots, so stay aware of their possible impromptu maneuvers while driving. Be mindful of their signals and allow enough space for unplanned turns, stops, or lane changes. Realize that debris might be insignificant to your vehicle, but could be deadly for a motorcyclist. Lastly, drive modestly. Motorcyclists’ driving might aggravate you, but it is safer and more important to stay focused on the road rather than attempting to play jockey.
It’s important that you establish your visibility to other vehicles on the road that may not be aware of you, especially if you are traveling in their blind spot. Increase the chances of you being seen by other drivers and wear bright colors or reflective materials. Protective clothing and gear such as a helmet, gloves, and eye protection are essential for your safety (and might save your life) when riding a bike. Keep a safe distance from other motorists to allow for quick or delayed actions such as turns, shifts in speed, and lane changes. It’s critical that you make your proper signals of your intentions clear and timely to avoid confusion or accidents. Never weave back and forth, try to fit in tight spaces, pass others in tricky ways, or share lanes with cars. Make sure that you have passed the state motorcycle knowledge exam AND the motorcycle road skills test to be qualified to operate one. It’s logical for you to complete a motorcycle rider education and training course as well. Lastly, even though your joyride may be the most freeing feeling, you still must obey the laws and speed limits!
As automobilists who ration the road daily with others, we need to take the responsibility of safety behind the wheel seriously. We also should consider these instructions, facts, and realities to help reduce fatalities (especially in the summer months). Be aware of what’s happening around you. Life is a beautiful ride and is just as important as your “steel horse.” So on your next joyride, be alert to prevent becoming a statistic!