Wear a Helmet for Safety
According to AAA and the Governors Highway Safety Association, motorcycle fatalities have decreased the past few years. Unfortunately, the reported use of helmets has also decreased, causing many motorcycle accidents to result in serious head injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycles pose a fatality rate that is six times higher than the fatality rate for a passenger car. Safe Communities hopes to decrease the number of motorcycle-related injuries and deaths by encouraging helmet use as well as advocating these traffic safety tips:
- Keep headlights and taillights on at sunrise, sunset, and in any adverse weather.
- Stay three to four seconds behind a vehicle you intend to pass, and signal your intention to turn.
- Before passing a vehicle, check your rearview mirror and ensure all vehicles are a safe distance behind you when completing a pass.
- Wear helmets that are compliant with FMVSS No. 218. Helmets are 67% effective in preventing brain injuries during crashes; riders without helmets are three times more likely to suffer a brain injury as a result of a crash than helmeted riders.
- Wear proper clothing, eyewear, and footwear to protect yourself from risk of serious injury or fatality.
Stay in Control: Avoid Potentially Fatal Risks
Distracted driving is always a problem, but combining motorcyclists and distracted drivers can be fatal. While riding a motorcycle, it is critical to stay aware and vigilant of your surroundings at all times. Motorcycles often get caught in a motorist’s blind spot, and they may be hard to see, making it even more important to look twice.
Distracted driving also poses a serious threat to motorcyclists. Reaction time is delayed a few seconds when texting and driving or messing with anything in the vehicle. This delayed reaction contributes to a larger risk of fatal collision with a motorcycle.
Motorcyclists also increase the risk of a fatal collision when they take their hands off the motorcycle handlebars. According to Seeker Digital Network, taking your hands off the handlebars reduces your control over the motorcycle more than if you took your hands off a car’s steering wheel; steering, braking, accelerating, and shifting are all comprised.
There are many suggestions to decrease the risk of fatal motorcycle collisions. One method is to complete a motorcycle safety course. Wood County and the state of Ohio do not require extra safety courses for motorcyclists, but Safe Communities of Wood County highly recommends taking one. The course will teach you about the state traffic safety laws that apply to motorcycles, how to avoid unsafe situations, and how to respond to emergency situations on a motorcycle. Course instructors will also provide tips on motorcycle maintenance. You will even have a chance to try out your new skills in a controlled environment.
Finally, we recommend always watching the weather for adverse driving conditions and wearing the proper protection gear at all times.
Motorists can help make the roads safer for motorcyclists by taking some simple precautions.
- Typically, motorcyclists are more inclined to take to the road on weekends, meaning it is even more important to stay alert and be extra cautious.
- Allow ample space for motorcyclists to maneuver and react if necessary; alwasy follow three or more seconds behind.
- Never attempt to share the lane with a motorcycle.
- Motorcycles can be hard to see; look for them by double checking your mirrors and blind spots before switching to another lane of traffic.
- Always signal before changing lanes or merging with traffic; this allows motorcyclists time to anticipate your movement and find a safe lane position.
- If a turn signal is on, wait to be sure the rider is going to turn before you proceed; it may not be self-canceling and the motorcyclist may have forgotten to turn it off.
- Remember, safety is a shared responsibility — do your part.
For more information on traffic safety, visit the Traffic Safety Website.