May marks both the unofficial start of summer and National Motorcycle
Awareness Month. While motorcycles make up 3% of all registered vehicles,
and account for only .6% of all vehicle miles traveled, they are involved
in 14% of all traffic fatalities, according to the National Safety Council
In recognition of National Motorcycle Awareness Month, we’ve listed the top
safety tips for both motorcyclists and other drivers to help ensure the
roads are safer for everyone.
Top 5 Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders
1. Wear a Helmet
The best way to ensure your safety on a motorcycle is by wearing a
high-quality, properly fitting helmet. The Institute for Highway Safety
estimates that helmets have a 67% effectiveness rate in preventing brain
injury, and a 37% effectiveness rate in preventing motorcycle deaths.
2. Inspect Your Bike Before Every Ride
If something is wrong with your bike, you want to know about it before
you’re on the street. In order to ensure your motorcycle is roadworthy,
check your turn signals, brakes, tires, and fluid levels before hitting the
3. Ride Defensively
Motorcycles are more difficult to see than other vehicles on the road and
easily fall in other drivers’ blind spots. Be sure to ride defensively.
Wear bright, reflective clothing and keep your lights on when riding.
Always ride within the speed limit and give yourself plenty of room to
change lanes and make turns.
4. Ride Sober
Motorcyclists are more likely to suffer fatal injuries in drunk driving
crashes than other drivers. Never ride while under the influence of alcohol
or other substances. Also, avoid riding when you are drowsy or distracted.
5. Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
A motorcycle safety course can teach you the fundamentals of motorcycle
safety and advanced techniques to help you be a safer, more confident
rider. It may also introduce you to other riders who share your passion and
spark new friendships.
Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Tips for Car Drivers
1. Check Your Blind Spots
Since motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, they are often harder to
see when making turns or switching lanes. In addition to using your mirrors
when merging or turning, be sure to visually check your blind spots.
2. Give Motorcycles Extra Room
Motorcycles can be more vulnerable to sudden changes in road conditions.
Slow down behind motorcyclists and give them plenty of room. By giving
yourself extra space, you’ll have a better opportunity to react if
something unexpected occurs.
3. Be Cautious When Making Left Turns
While you should always exercise caution when making any turn, left turns
can be particularly dangerous due to your blind spots. Make a point to
identify motorcycles on the road and judge how fast they are going when you
make a turn.
4. Dim Your High Beams
Bright headlights can be more blinding for bikers, so dim your lights if
you pass a motorcycle on the road. In addition to safely using your
headlights, remember to always use your turn signals as well. This helps
others better anticipate your next move.
5. Don’t Drink and Drive
Never drink and drive. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated jeopardizes
the safety and lives of everyone on the road. If you’ve been drinking, call
a friend or arrange a ride from a driving service.