This month the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) begins promoting national safety awareness for motorcycle riders. Each year there are thousands of motorcycle related injuries that may have been prevented if some basic safety tips were followed.

More than two-thirds of serious motorcyclist accidents are not caused by the motorcycle riders themselves, but instead caused by drivers of other vehicles. Drivers tend to overlook motorcycle riders because they are accustomed to seeing larger vehicles on the road around them. Since there is virtually no protection for a motorcyclist, the injuries can be significant and even deadly. Below are a few safety tips for motorcyclists to remember.

1. Create a large space around you and don’t let others get into that space. When you’re passing a vehicle be extra cautious and avoid riding in blind spots. Use your turn signals.
2. Make sure others can see you. Position yourself in your lane so other drivers can see you.
3. Ride with a helmet. Helmets saved 1,829 motorcyclists’ lives in 2008 (according to a study done by NHTSA). Generally speaking, those who wear helmets suffer far less head trauma during an accident than those who ride without a helmet. Ride with protective eyewear and clothing.

Car drivers also need to be aware of motorcycle safety and can do a few things to make sure our roads are safe for both drivers and motorcyclists. Here are a few safety tips for drivers.

1. Make sure to not follow too closely behind a motorcycle. Give them plenty of room.
2. Be mindful of motorcyclists when approaching an intersection– especially when they are making a left turn. It always better to proceed with caution than to try and speed through an intersection.
3. When traveling near a motorcyclist on the road, anticipate their maneuvering. Obstructions that may be easy for you to avoid can be deadly to a motorcyclist.

We hope these tips will be helpful and that you will think about them the next time you are out on the road. Motorcyclists have the same rights and privileges as other drivers on our roads and highways. Increased awareness by all parties will help make our roadways a safer place to travel.

Harris Personal Injury, Inc. is a California law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of injured people and their families. If you or a family member have been in a motorcycle accident, sustained injuries, or have been killed in a California accident please visit our website at www.harrispersonalinjury.com or call 1-877-231-9970 for a free consultation.

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