(NewsUSA) - With the onset of spring and summer weather, peak motorcycle riding season is underway across the United States. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is promoting the “Expect Us, See Us,” slogan to alert motorists to the increased presence of motorcycles.
Motorcycle-related traffic fatalities, along with all other types of traffic fatalities, increased dramatically from 2020 to 2021, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“The NHTSA data may be from 2021, but distraction, speeding, and driving or riding while under the influence continue to be problems today,” says Rob Gladden, vice president of training operations for MSF.
“However, these are all things we can change,” Gladden adds. “May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and we want to call attention to how smart, attentive driving and riding behaviors can save lives.”
The MSF offers the following safety tips for drivers and for motorcyclists to help reduce accidents and fatalities and to keep everyone safe on the road.
Tips for car and truck drivers:
-Look out for motorcyclists. Car and truck blind spot detectors aren’t perfect. During the spring and summer months, expect that you will share the road with motorcycles and scooters. Use your eyes and mirrors.
-Stay focused. Put down the phone while driving, and don’t be distracted by passengers, pets, or other in-vehicle activity.
-Use turn signals. Many drivers fail to signal when changing lanes. Signaling alerts motorcyclists as well as other drivers.
-Give space. Don’t get too close to riders; they need room to maneuver and adjust to road conditions.
-Don’t litter. Tossing anything out of a vehicle endangers motorcyclists riding nearby.
Tips for motorcycle and scooter riders:
-Be seen. Wear bright riding gear and a light-colored helmet. Always have your headlight on, day and night, and flash your brake light when slowing and before stopping if possible.
-Assume others don’t see you. Stay hyper-aware and notice details in your surroundings. Use the Search-Evaluate-Execute (SEE) strategy to respond to assess hazards.
-Dress the part. Wear proper riding gear from head to toe—it can save your life. Full-face helmets provide the best protection, and jackets, pants, gloves, and boots that are made for riding will generally be made of abrasion-resistant material and provide additional comfort and protection.
-Follow the rules. Riding respectfully — and legally — creates a safer environment for everyone.
-Check your bike. Before every ride, do a pre-ride check to look over tires and wheels, check fluids, cables, chassis, lights, electronics, and stands. Use the T-CLOCS inspection checklist to help you.
Share these safety tips with others using the hashtags #SeeMotorcycles and #ExpectUsSeeUs.
Safety booklets, tips, and other reference guides are available at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website, msf-usa.org.