Every May, Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month arrives. And every month including May contains hundreds of avoidable motorcycle-related collisions that lead to debilitating and fatal injuries.
Drivers fail to yield to motorcyclists, causing collisions. Distracted drivers attempt to change lanes and collide with a motorcycle in the adjacent lane. Drivers crash into the rear of a motorcyclist stopped at a traffic light. The horrific examples go on and on. Awareness is crucial to get more drivers understanding the importance of safe driving habits around motorcycles.
One-third of fatal collisions happen at intersections
While California has long been a haven for motorcyclists who enjoy the fresh air, freedom and scenery, the state continues to record some of the highest such fatalities in the country. In 2019, the state recorded 474 motorcycle-related deaths. That gave California the dubious distinction of ranking second in motorcycle fatalities, behind Florida (591) and ahead of Texas (416), according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
A couple of noteworthy motorcycle-related NHTSA statistics from 2019 also include:
- An estimated 41% of the 2,495 fatal collisions involving a motorcycle and another vehicle occurred when a driver made a left turn in front of the bike.
- More than 1 in 3 motorcycle fatalities occurred at intersections in the U.S.
Statistics like these should make anyone concerned. Coexistence is essential, and motor vehicle drivers must understand this.
A worthwhile public safety campaign
Even if only a single driver avoids a collision with a motorcyclist because he or she was better informed by Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, that represents a victory. Let us hope that public safety campaigns like this one will help drivers understand that motorcyclists have the same right to being on the road.