May is Motorcycle Awareness Month

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month

May 09, 2013

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month!
Stay safe out there!

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Washington and across the country. During this month, drivers of all other vehicles and all road users are reminded to safely "share the road" with motorcyclists and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. Motorcyclists are reminded to obey traffic laws, wear DOT-compliant helmets and protective gear, and make themselves visible by wearing bright colors and using reflective tape.

Most of the talking points for Safety Awareness Month are directed towards non-riders and how they can help keep motorcyclists safer by sharing lanes, checking mirrors and blind spots, always using signals, and keeping a greater following distance. But it is important for motorcyclists to take full accountability for riding safely too. We at Eagle Leather love riding and all the freedom and excitement that comes with it. But we are also conscientious when it comes to spreading the importance of safe riding.

Take a look at these troubling statistics from 2011:

  • Use of DOT-compliant helmets in decreased from 66% in 2011 to 60% in 2012.
  • In 2011, 30% of all fatally injured motorcycle riders had BAC levels of 0.08 or higher, over the legal limit
  • An additional 7% had BAC levels between 0.01 and 0.07.
  • In 2011, 60% of fatally injured motorcycle riders and 49% of fatally injured motorcycle passengers were not wearing their helmet at the time of the crash.
  • In 2011, 22% of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were riding with an invalid license.
  • The NHTSA estimates that helmet-use saved the lives of over 1,600 riders in 2011.
  • An additional 700+ lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists wore helmets.

Motorcyclists can increase their levels of safety by:

  • Avoid riding in extremely poor weather conditions
  • Wear brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet
  • Use turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it
  • Combine hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves
  • Use reflective tape and stickers to increase conspicuit
  • Position themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers
  • Never drive while impaired

For more useful tips like the ones above, check out Mike’s Safety Tip each week in the Eagle Leather Newsletter.

Increasing safe riding and cooperation between all road users will help to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our nation’s highways. We’re glad that Motorcycle Awareness Month exists to educate drivers about motorcycles on the road, but remember that you are responsible for your safety as well!

What do you think? Does Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month really make non-riders pay more attention to motorcyclists? We want to hear what you think on the Eagle Leather Facebook Page!

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