The roar of motorcycles is in the air, as baby boomers seek to relive the two-wheel dreams of their youth and drivers of all ages look for lower-cost transportation.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the number of motorcycle fatalities decreased in 2009, ending 11 years of straight increases.
Although things are improving, there were still 4,762 motorcyclists killed in accidents last year. As cars become safer, motorcycle riders now make up approximately 14% of all deaths from motor vehicle crashes.
Tips For Drivers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers these tips to make sure you share the road safely with motorcyclists:
- Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width.
- Don't assume a motorcycle is going to turn just because its signal is flashing. Some signals are not self-canceling and motorcyclists forget to turn them off.
- Motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars, so allow greater following distance.
- Realize that wet pavement and road debris can create driving conditions that are especially hazardous for motorcyclists.
Tips For Motorcyclists
The GHSA has identified the following tips for motorcyclists
- Wear your helmet. 41% of fatally-injured riders were not wearing helmets.
- Don't drink and ride.
- Slow down. 35% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding. More than half of all fatal motorcycle crashes did not involve another vehicle, and speeding likely contributed to many of these.