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May is “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month”

May 5, 2009 by  

As the weather improves, motorcycle riders will be hitting the roads throughout the country. In anticipation of this, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would like to remind motorists to “Share the Road” with motorcycle riders, while motorcycle riders are reminded to follow the rules of the road and wear safety helmets and other protective gear that will increase their visibility. Local organizations are joining with highway safety and law enforcement in proclaiming May 2009 as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.”

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a national initiative aimed at getting motorists and motorcyclists to “Share the Road” with each other, in an effort to save lives. Did you know:

* In 2007, motorcycle rider fatalities increased for the tenth straight year; during that year, 5,154 motorcyclists lost their lives in fatal highway crashes.

* Fifty percent of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with another type of motor vehicle in transport. In two-vehicle crashes, 78 percent of the motorcycles involved were struck in the front.

* Over 90 percent of all two-vehicle crashes involving a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle in which the motorcycle rider died occurred on non-interstate roadways.

* Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcyclists. For every 100 motorcyclists killed in crashes while not wearing a helmet, 37 of them could have been saved had all 100 worn helmets.

The “Share the Road” guidelines advise motorists to remember that motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway. Expect to see motorcycles at any time, and search aggressively for them. Motorcyclists are advised to wear brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet. For more information and full guidelines, please visit: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/

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