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AAA shares motorcycle safety tips for bikers & drivers during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month


Wed, May 1st 2024 07:40 pm

Fatal motorcycle crashes are on the rise

By AAA of Western and Central New York

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and AAA Western and Central New York is reminding both drivers and bikers of key safety tips as biking season shifts into gear.

Unfortunately, the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that fatal motorcycle crashes are on the rise:

√ 6,218 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2022, the highest number since 1975, up from 5,932 in 2021

√ Motorcycle fatalities increased 5% in 2022 compared to 2021

√ Fatal motorcycle crashes accounted for 15% of all crashes in 2022

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the number of on-road motorcycles registered in the U.S. has risen over the past 10 years, more than doubling from 4.3 million in 2002 to 8.8 million in 2023.

As an advocate for traffic safety, AAA hopes to reduce crashes and keep the rest of the spring and summer safe for all roadway users. Everyone can do their part to safely share the road.

As a driver:

√ Check mirrors and blind spots for motorcyclists before entering or leaving lanes of traffic and at intersections. Most multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes occur when drivers simply didn’t see the motorcyclist.

√ Signal before changing lanes or merging with traffic. Even when signaling, allow enough time to determine a motorcyclist's intention before you proceed.

√ Increase following distance behind motorcycles and provide time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.

√ Never try to share a lane with motorcycles – they have the same right to lanes as any other vehicle.

As a motorcyclist:

√ Before you ride, check tire pressure and tread depth. Make sure brakes, headlights and signal indicators are in working order.

√ Make sure any cargo is secure/balanced, adjust suspension and tire pressure to accommodate extra weight.

√ Always ride with a helmet that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard – look for the “DOT” symbol on the back. Helmets save lives and are required in New York state.

√ Wear other protective gear, such as gloves, a jacket, and pants.

√ Make yourself visible. Keep your lights on, wear bright colors and use reflective tape, even during the daytime. Position yourself in the lane where drivers can see you.

√ Follow traffic laws, always use turn signals, and combine hand signals with turn signals when you can to make your intentions even more clear.

√ Never ride impaired – 28% of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2022 involved alcohol, according to NHTSA.

As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 860,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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