Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Motorcycle Awareness Month

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month; Take a look at this site by ABATE of California for more information. Not enough info? Try here at the Auto Channel website, or just google it. There are a ton of sites with information.

There are are now more motorcyclists on the road than ever. What can car drivers and motorcycle riders do to make the roads safer? Here are a few ideas...

>>>For the motorcycle rider>>>
  • Wear a reflective vest, especially at night.
  • Wear a helmet with reflective tape or stickers.
  • Wear as much protective gear as you are comfortable with. Decent leather or armored mesh is important to protect your body's soft parts.
  • Do NOT wear camouflage clothing. You want to be seen, not blend in.
  • Do NOT wear shorts. A simple dumped bike or slow speed lowside can seriously rip up unprotected skin.
  • Perform regular maintenance on your bike. Your life depends on it proper operation.
  • Ride within your limits.
  • Take at least one day a month and practice your slow speed maneuvers and emergency stops.
  • Read at least one book per year on rider safety or riding techniques.
  • Take a safety class. They are typically less than $150 and after you pass, you may well be a better rider and qualify for a lower insurance premium. (Check with your insurance company.)
  • NEVER, EVER drink and ride.
>>>For the Car Driver>>>
  • Always look for motorcycles. Remember, we are a lot smaller than you.
  • Understand that we pay road taxes and vehicle registration the same as you.
  • Be very careful when turning left across an oncoming traffic lane. Many, many fatal accidents happen when a car driver fails to see a motorcycle coming in the opposite direction.
  • Give a motorcycle extra space. Don't stop right behind their rear wheel. It makes riders nervous. Give them six feet at a stop, or more.
  • Always use your turning signals and follow the driving rules and laws of your state.
  • If you have something in the bed of your truck or strapped to your car, make sure it is secure. Even an empty plastic soda bottle out the window can cause a motorcycle to loose its grip on the road and throw its rider to its death.
  • Remember, cars are big, heavy and hard. Motorcycles are small, light and their riders soft.
  • Keep in mind that a 15 MPH accident between two cars usually involves calling the police and insurance companies. That same accident between a car and a motorcycle will involve an ambulance, and likely the coroner.
  • Use your lights anytime you are on the road.
  • NEVER, EVER drink and drive.
Riders & cagers alike, be safe out there.
(image above is courtesy of the Texas DMV)

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