The sun is shining and the birds are chirping; it’s time to bring the bikes back out and feel the wind on your face! Not all drivers are motorcycle enthusiasts, but all drivers have one thing in common: the desire to make it safely to your destination. However, not all drivers have the same likelihood of making it home safe.
Riding motorcycles requires a great deal of caution, as riders are 27 times more likely to die in a crash compared to other drivers. That burden of caution belongs to everyone who shares the road—not just the motorcyclist. Every other vehicle driver sharing the road needs to increase their vigilance as well. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, a time to remind everyone how important it is to be alert when sharing the roads with motorcycles. Learn how you can practice motorcycle safety as a motorcyclist or a driver by reading our safety tips below!
Ride Safe, Motorcyclist
The greatest risk to motorcyclists is other drivers as more than half of rider fatalities occur due to another vehicle hitting them. In addition to that, Florida is one of the riskier states to ride. In 2000, Florida passed the helmet law which allows motorcyclists to legally ride without a helmet if the rider is over 21 years old and has motorcycle or health insurance. With that being said, it’s proven that motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of death by 42% and decrease the possibility of a head injury by 69%. With those motorcycle accident statistics, we suggest that the best way for motorcyclists to honor this safety month is to attend one of our upcoming Motorcycle Safety courses.
“Check Twice, Save a Life”
You might see that phrase on a bumper sticker occasionally, but what does it really mean for licensed drivers? It’s a reminder to double check for oncoming motorcycles, because it is easy to misjudge the speed and distance of a motorcycle. Checking your blind spots and using your turn signals are also easy ways to share the road and avoid an accident with riders. So the next time you see that phrase or when you’re on the road, make a mental note to be extra cautious for riders. Your second look will only take a moment, but without it, you can cost someone an entire lifetime.
The Safety Council of Palm Beach County, Inc. works in cooperation with the motorcycle Safety Institute of Florida, Inc. and is pleased to offer motorcycle rider education courses. In 2008 Florida passed a law that all applicants for the required motorcycle endorsement on their license must show proof of completion of the motorcycle safety course. Check our calendar for upcoming classes.