When winter ends and spring arrives, motorcycle riders are eager to get on the road. But according to statistics cited by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 5,000 motorcycles were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015—an increase of 8% over motorcyclist deaths in 2014.
In order to spread awareness and help reduce the number of crashes that occur each year, the NHTSA kicks off Motorcycle Awareness Month in May. This campaign reminds motorists to be aware that motorcycles are back on the road, to drive defensively, and to urge all drivers to share the road.
The NHTSA has found that collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles usually happen when the non-motorcycle vehicle driver violates the motorcyclist’s right of way. For this reason, the drivers of cars and trucks need to look twice at intersections and before turning, so they can better avoid motorcycle crashes, injuries, and deaths.
Attorneys Promote “Watch” Campaign
The attorneys at Hupy and Abraham, S.C. have worked to promote a “Watch” campaign, distributing thousands of free bumper stickers that remind motorists to watch for motorcycles and be aware of their presence on the road, as well as posting billboards on major highways in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa to highlight motorcycle awareness. They believe safety is the responsibility of every driver and encourage all motorists to share the road.
Drivers Can Prevent Motorcycle Crashes
Because motorcycles are small and harder to see, they are likely to be less visible to drivers of trucks, SUVs, and cars, especially if the motorcycle is traveling in the blind spot of one of these vehicles. As the driver of a car or truck, you can help prevent motorcycle accidents by:
- Checking your blind spots and mirrors before changing lanes or turning
- Making sure there is nothing obstructing your view out the back window
- Using turn signals so riders can anticipate your moves
- Keeping a safe distance from motorcycles around you
- Being alert and avoiding distractions such as cell phones
Share the Road and Stay Alert
In 2016, there were 2,250 motorcycle crashes in Wisconsin. These crashes resulted in 82 motorcyclist deaths and 1,973 motorcyclist injuries. It is our hope that this year’s Motorcycle Awareness Month will help make 2018 a safer year for motorcyclists and other drivers in Wisconsin and around the country.