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.
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.
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.”
Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers these guidelines for motorcyclists:
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 msf-usa.org"
Get Licensed – For information on licensing requirements
in your state, visit "msf-usa.org/pages/operatorfs.html".
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.
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.
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.
Tyler Wright contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.all-motorcycle-helmets.com.
A buyers guide to all types of motorcycle helmets plus shields, googles, custom and wired radio helmets.