June 16th is National Ride to Work Day
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is offering motorcycle riders and drivers great safety information in preparation for National Ride to Work Day on June 16, 2014. Motorcyclists remain one of the few roadway user groups that continue to see an increase in fatalities each year, so awareness about motorcycle safety is absolutely essential. Whether you plan to ride to work on June 16th or not, remember that sharing the road and practicing safe driving habits are the two best ways to keep motorcyclists and other roadway users safe.
Motorcycle Crash Facts
• In 2012, 4,957 motorcycle riders died in crashes across the country.
• Motorcyclist fatalities accounted for 15 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year.
• In 2011, 81,000 motorcyclists were injured in crashes.
• In 2012, 93,000 motorcyclists were injured in crashes.
Share the Road
Motorcycle riders may be on smaller vehicles than traditional passenger vehicle drivers, but they have the same rights and privileges as other roadway users. This means, you should never tailgate a rider, or crowd them too closely. In fact, in the event of an emergency or roadway obstacle, motorcyclists need additional room to maneuver safely. Always give them a full-lane’s width to travel in too. An important part of sharing the road is giving your full attention to the task of driving. Although it seems simple, distracted driving is still happening all over California and across the country. If you’re looking at your iPhone, you’re not watching out for motorcycle riders, pedestrians, cyclists or other motorists.
Sharing the road is about more than just putting down the smart phone. It’s about actively looking out for all other roadway users. Cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists are vulnerable commuters, because they don’t have the same safety protections as passenger vehicle occupants. Even with safety gear like helmets and boots, they can become devastatingly or fatally injured in crashes involving motor vehicles. Never change lanes or pull onto roadways without first checking for other drivers, riders or pedestrians. Since motorcyclists are on smaller vehicles, some motorists may misjudge their distance. When in doubt, wait it out. Don’t just pull out in front of a motorcycle rider. It could be a deadly mistake.