May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, North Dakota!
The warmer temperatures are here and you've probably seen plenty of motorcyclists on the road so far this month already. It's important that everyone stays alert and shares the road with motorcyclists.
While riders are certainly excited to be back on the roads, both motorcyclists and motorists should use caution and beware of their surroundings.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has provided some tips for both motorists and motorcyclists:
- Motorcycles have all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle on the roadway. Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width. Never share a lane.
- Be sure to visually check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at all intersections.
- Always use your turn signal before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Allow for more following distance when behind a motorcycle, about three or four seconds, so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop, should there be an emergency. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars. Never tailgate.
Ways motorcyclists can increase their safety are:
- Avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
- Wearing brightly colored protective gear and a helmet that is compliant with NDDOT.
- Use turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it.
- Use reflective tape and stickers which will increase conspicuity.
- Position themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other motorists.
Many of these may seem like common sense, but each of these can never be overstated enough so that motorists and motorcyclists are aware of one another on the road.
Distracted driving has also become a huge concern in recent years. Whatever you do, please do NOT text and drive.
For any and all motorcyclists, be safe on the roads and enjoy each ride!