May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

The beautiful weather that comes with the month of May often attracts many new motorcycle riders to the road. In turn, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which aims to remind drivers to be attentive when sharing the road. Distracted driving and unexpected accidents happen on the road all the time, so bringing awareness to the issue is crucial.

So many motorcycle accidents have causes that could have been avoided easily. However, it is also easy for drivers and motorcyclists to have inattentive moments here and there. These moments, however, are when accidents happen the most.

Let’s Review: Common Motorcycle Accident Causes

Motorcycle accidents are often unpredictable, and can happen at any time. However, they do often have some things in common. There are certain types of motorcycle accidents that occur fairly often, with some minor differences between each case. Some common types of motorcycle accidents to be careful of include:

  • Left turn motorcycle accidents: a driver makes a left turn without noticing an oncoming motorcycle, resulting in a collision in the intersection
  • Unsafe lane changes: a driver does not check their blind spot before switching lanes and collides with a motorcycle rider
  • Speeding: whether it is the driver or the motorcyclist who is speeding, it often causes accidents because it hinders a driver’s or rider’s ability to react to sudden obstacles
  • Lane splitting accidents: when lane splitting, the small distance between a motorcycle and a car increases the risk of collision

How Can Drivers Practice Motorcycle Safety?

With aware and attentive drivers, the roads will be a safer place for everyone, not just motorcyclists. Further, these safety tips can be followed by everyone on the road, not just car drivers! Our point being, we should all be driving safely at all times. You can keep yourself and other people on the road safe by doing the following:

  • Check your blind spots and side mirrors
  • Always use your signal lights before switching lanes
  • Check twice at intersections before making a left or a U-turn
  • Be conscious of motorcycle lane-splitting, which is legal in California
  • Keep a distance between yourself and a motorcyclist, or anyone on the road

How Can Motorcycle Riders Practice Motorcycle Safety?

We can’t make everyone else do the work, we have to regularly practice motorcycle safety too! We share an equal duty with everyone else on the road to keep one another safe by driving according to traffic laws. Both car motorists and motorcycle riders sometimes stray from traffic rules. Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is here to remind us all that traffic and safety laws are in place for a reason. Motorcycle riders can do their part in staying safe on the road by doing the following:

  • Always wearing a helmet, as is required by California law
  • Wear other gear like motorcycle boots, a jacket, gloves, and biking pants to protect the rest of your body
  • Increase your visibility on the road by wearing bright colors or using reflective tape at night
  • Avoid lane-splitting at high speeds
  • Avoid lane-splitting next to larger vehicles which have larger blind spots, like trucks or buses
  • Take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course