Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

by Gwen Newell

Did you know that motorcyclists are nearly 5 times more likely to be injured and 29 times more likely to be killed in a crash than vehicle motorists? With May being National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, AAA Carolinas is urging motorists and riders to do their part to make roads safer.

It is important to remember that motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable and those of us who prefer four-wheeled vehicles have a huge responsibility to keep riders safe. As warmer weather starts to bring out more riders, motorists have to be extra vigilant and motorcyclists must ride responsibly and take precautions, such as wearing bright colors and using headlights day and night to initiate safety awareness.

According to NCDOT, during 2019 motorcyclist deaths increased by 8.9 percent. There were 183 fatalities in North Carolina related to motorcycle crashes.

Motorists can help make roads safer for motorcyclists by taking some simple, yet imperative precautions:

  • Be extra cautious on weekends, when motorcyclists take to the road.
  • Provide motorcyclists adequate room to maneuver. Follow at least five to six 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.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.
  • 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.

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.”

Motorcyclists can prevent crashes and injuries by:

  • Keep headlights on day and night. It is the law.
  • Assume motorists can’t see you and make yourself visible.
  • Never ride distracted or impaired.
  • Be aware that riding with a passenger requires more skill.
  • Be courteous; don’t weave in and out of lanes, or ride on shoulders or between lanes.
  • Wear helmets that meet a high protection standard.
  • Wear bright and reflective clothing, proper eye wear and sturdy, closed-toe footwear.

For any riders interested in getting one-on-one or group training, AAA Approved MotoMark1 in North Carolina offers state-of-the-art motorcycle training courses utilizing instructor-to-student communication. MotoMark1 has been training riders for 16 years and has locations across North Carolina in Jacksonville, Wilkesboro, Burlington and Fayetteville. Watch their video here.


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