Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is an annual occurance when state and local law enforcement agencies, along with highway safety officials throughout the Unitied States, and in cooperation with the federal government, make a concerted effort to remind motorcyclists and automobile drivers that they are obliged to share the roads safely with each another. May kicks off this annual campaign, which coincides with the season when Maryland motorcycle riders dust off their machines and get ready to take advantage of the warmer weather.
Other groups also getting behind this traffic safety effort to prevent Maryland motorcycle accidents are the Maryland Motor Truck Association and the Abate of Maryland. Together, they are reminding car, truck and bus drivers that due to a motorcycle’s smaller size, this type of vehicle can easily get lost in a larger motor vehicle’s blind spot or get covered behind trees, bushes and fences.
Of the 5,154 US motorcycle deaths that occurred in 2007, 88 of them were Maryland motorcycle deaths—a definite increase from the 58 Maryland motorcycle fatalities that happened in 2003. One reason for this is that motorcycle use has grown in popularity throughout the state.
According to a 2008 Examiner.com news article, more than 1,000,000 motorcycles have been sold in the last six years. The higher cost of gas over the past couple of years may be one of the reasons that more people have opted to ride motorcycles. A motorcycle averages 50mpg, which is twice the mpg of many cars.
AAA Offers the Following Safety Suggestions for Motorists Sharing the Roads with Motorcycles:
• Be on the look out for motorcycles, as well as cars and pedestrians.
• Allow motorcyclists the same driving privileges that you have, including letting them have a full lane to themselves.
• Always signal to indicate when you are turning.
• Give motorcycle riders plenty of space to maneuver.
AAA’s Safety Awareness Suggestions for Motorcyclists Sharing the Roads with Other Drivers:
• Wear protective gear so that other drivers see you.
• Give yourself plenty of space to maneuver your bike in the event of an emergency.
• Try not to ride in a driver’s blind spot.
• Don’t share a lane with other vehicles.
• Signal and indicate.
• Make sure you are properly trained to ride your motorcycle and that you have enough experience to operate one safely before you get on a Maryland freeway.