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:
WEAR THE PROPER PROTECTION
If you’re ever in a serious motorcycle crash, the best hope you have for protecting your brain is a motorcycle helmet. Always wear a helmet meeting the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Look for the DOT symbol on the outside back of the helmet. Snell and ANSI labels located inside the helmet also show that the helmet meets the standards of those private, non-profit organizations. Learn more about choosing the right helmet.
Arms and legs should be completely covered when riding a motorcycle, ideally by wearing leather or heavy denim. In addition to providing protection in a crash, protective gear also helps prevent dehydration. Boots or shoes should be high enough to cover your ankles, while gloves allow for a better grip and help protect your hands in the event of a crash. Wearing brightly colored clothing with reflective material will make you more visible to other vehicle drivers.