Motorcycle Crash

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month: Drive smart and ride safe

Motorcycles are more popular than ever. In 2002, sales were up a remarkable 9.4 percent, as reported by the Motorcycle Industry Council, marking the 10th consecutive year of rising motorcycle sales in the United States. With so many new and returning riders, and with prime riding season upon us, it’s timely to note that May is designated as Motorcycle Awareness Month.

Drawing attention to the need to “share the road safely,” the Motorcycle Safety Foundation urges all motor vehicle drivers to be on the watch for motorcycles and reminds motorcyclists to ride responsibly.

According to MSF President Tim Buche, “Motorists often don’t think to look for motorcycles on the road, in fact, the most common type of collision occurs when a driver pulls out from an intersection directly in front of a motorcyclist. Usually they say they never even saw the bike. That’s why it’s key for all motorists to be on the lookout for motorcycles and to respect their right to be there.”

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers these guidelines for motorcyclists:

1) Get Trained – Whether you’re a new rider or someone with years of experience, there’s a MSF RiderCourse for you. Research has shown that more than 90 percent of all riders involved in crashes were either self-taught or taught by friends. The MSF’s newest curriculum, the Basic RiderCourse, is available at over 1,100 training sites across the U.S. Call information on training in your area, toll-free (800) 446-9227 or visit"

2) Get Licensed – For information on licensing requirements in your state, visit "". MSF worked with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to update an improved motorcycle operator licensing system, creating an official national standard.

3) Ride Sober – Recent data confirms that alcohol is involved in almost half of all single-vehicle motorcycle crashes. Don’t drink and ride. And don’t ride impaired. Drugs (prescription, over-the-counter, or otherwise) diminish visual capabilities and affect judgement.

4) Ride Responsibly –Wear protective gear, including a helmet approved to meet DOT (Department of Transportation) standards, eye protection, jacket, full-fingered gloves, long pants, and over-the-ankle boots. Keep your bike well maintained. Maintain proper lane positioning to further increase your visibility to drivers, and keep a “space cushion” between your bike and other traffic. Most importantly, know your skill level and ride within it.

Author Notes:

Tyler Wright contributes and publishes news editorial to  A buyers guide to all types of motorcycle helmets plus shields, googles, custom and wired radio helmets.

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