Warm spring weather has arrived, and motorcyclists are eager to hit the road. As they rev their engines and prepare for numerous road trips to come, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to remind motorists and motorcyclists alike to “Watch for Motorcycles” in order to help prevent motorcycle crashes, deaths and injuries on Missouri roadways.
“Preliminary data shows that approximately 12 percent of Missouri traffic fatalities in 2017 involved a motorcycle, with 115 motorcyclist lives lost,” said Bill Whitfield, executive committee chair of the coalition. “We want to see that number decrease this year by reminding all drivers to follow basic safety rules and never drive distracted or impaired.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following tips to drivers on how to prevent a fatal crash with a motorcycle:
- Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
- Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
- Never drive distracted or impaired.
Motorcyclists must also take precautions to remain safe on the road. Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these steps:
- Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
- Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed and trained.
- Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
- Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
- Never ride distracted or impaired.
- Anticipate the moves of other drivers and be extra cautious of road conditions and debris.
Motorcycle experts recommend motorcyclists also complete some type of training before getting out on the road. There are 25 training locations in Missouri. You can find the one nearest you at www.mmsp.org.