For much of the county, the winter of 2014 and 2015 was one of the snowiest on record. As residents throughout the country enjoy the warmer spring temperatures, those who own motorcycles are likely eager to take to the open road. However, after a several months-long hiatus, both motorcyclists and motorists are likely to experience a readjustment period.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and provides an opportune time for motorcyclists and motorists alike to brush up on safety tips for how to safely share the road.
During 2014 alone, the Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Database shows that there were a total of 2,860 motorcycle crashes throughout the state. With no seatbelts to prevent their bodies from flying through the air or airbags to cushion the impact, injuries suffered by motorcycle riders are often serious and fatal. Nationwide during 2013, a total of 4,668 motorcyclists died.
Wearing a helmet and protective clothing and ensuring one follows all traffic laws are a motorcyclist's best defense against causing or being involved in an accident. While only mandatory for motorcyclists age 20 and younger in Michigan, a helmet provides an individual's best chance of surviving a serious crash or collision. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that during 2013, helmets were credited with saving the lives of 1,630 people who were involved in serious motorcycle accidents.
As Michigan motorcycle owners prepare to ride this spring and summer, they are reminded to stay alert and free of distractions. Motorcyclists would also be wise to keep in mind that they are not always visible to other motorists and to therefore operate their motorcycle cautiously and accordingly.
Source: York Dispatch New, “Riding a motorcycle? Stay safe, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month," Sean Philip Cotter, May 10, 2015
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "State helmet laws," May 13, 2015