May is motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the number of motorcyclists killed in crashes DROPPED almost 5% in 2018. Unfortunately, though, motorcycle riders are still overrepresented in traffic fatalities.
All of us at MAC urge drivers and motorcyclists alike to share the road and be alert, and we’re reminding motorcyclists to make themselves visible, to use DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets, and to always ride sober.
Safe riding practices and cooperation from ALL road users will help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our highways. But it’s especially important for car and truck drivers to understand the safety challenges faced by us motorcyclists. By raising motorists’ awareness, both drivers and riders will be safer sharing the road.
In the coming days of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, I will be passing along to you, the motorcyclist, some excellent tips from the NHTSA. Here’s the next one:
BEFORE EVERY RIDE
Check your motorcycle’s tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels before you ride. You should also check under the motorcycle for signs of oil or gas leaks. If you’re carrying cargo, you should secure and balance the load on the bike; and adjust the suspension and tire pressure to accommodate the extra weight. If you’re carrying a passenger, he or she should mount the motorcycle only after the engine has started; should sit as far forward as possible, directly behind you; and should keep both feet on the foot rests at all times, even when the motorcycle is stopped. Remind your passenger to keep his or her legs and feet away from the muffler. Tell your passenger to hold on firmly to your waist, hips, or belt; keep movement to a minimum; and lean at the same time and in the same direction as you do. Do not let your passenger dismount the motorcycle until you say it is safe.