No More Motorcycle Deaths
Tips to keep stay safe during rally season
DENVER (Aug. 9, 2018) – Does it seem like there are a lot more motorcycles on the roads lately? It's motorcycle season, with approximately 30 percent more bikers on the road in July and August than during the rest of the year, per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
This year's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, shaping up to be the second largest in a decade, winds down on Sunday -- so Coloradans should expect thousands of bikers taking to our roads as they head to and from South Dakota during the rally's final weekend. With Colorado motorcycle fatalities reaching historic highs, AAA Colorado offers the following tips on sharing the road, safely.
One of the most common reasons drivers give for cutting off or pulling out in front of a motorcycle is that they "didn't see it." Bikers can prevent crashes and injuries by:
- Keeping headlights and marker and taillights on at dusk and in dark or rainy weather.
- Staying three to four seconds behind a vehicle they intend to pass, checking oncoming traffic from the left side of the lane, signaling the intention to turn, and then checking for oncoming traffic before passing.
- Checking their rear-view mirror and quickly turning their head to ensure the vehicle is a safe distance behind them when completing a pass.
- Wearing a helmet. Riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash, and are three times more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries.
- Wearing proper clothing, eyewear, and sturdy, closed-toe footwear. Brightly colored gear will significantly increase visibility.
- Slowing down. More than 35 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding.
Motorists have a responsibility to help make the roads safer for motorcyclists by taking some simple precautions:
- Be extra cautious on weekends, when more motorcyclists take to the road.
- Provide motorcyclists adequate room to maneuver. Follow at least three to four seconds behind them.
- Allow extra maneuvering room in areas with potholes, pavement transitions, and railroad crossings. Motorcyclists may need to slow down, stop, or adjust their lane position.
- Never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Motorcycles have the same right to lanes as any other vehicle.
- If a motorcycle is nearby, check your mirrors carefully before changing lanes. Motorcycles may be in your blind spots or difficult to see because of their smaller size.
"As someone who was struck by a car while out on my motorcycle, I know one thing for certain: My helmet helped save my life," said AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley. "Still, I would've preferred that the crash never happened at all. Motorists have a responsibility to watch for motorcycles and give them space to maneuver, and bikers should slow down and take every measure to increase their visibility. And nobody should ever ride or drive distracted or impaired."
About AAA Colorado
More than 675,000 members strong, AAA Colorado is the state's greatest advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services - as well as member-exclusive savings. For more information, visit AAA.com.