Every year, Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month arrives in May. And every year, drivers must understand that motorcyclists are present on roads and have every right to be there.
Still, every year, many motorcyclists and their passengers sustain serious and even fatal injuries in crashes – many of them caused by the negligence of a car, SUV, pickup and large truck driver. In 2019, more than 5,000 motorcycle fatalities occurred in the country and another 84,000 people were injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Florida: nearly 600 motorcyclists died
What may come as a surprise is that Florida in 2019 recorded the highest number of motorcycle-related fatalities in the country with 591.
Motorcyclists can take the greatest care and precautions to ensure a safe ride, but still become victims in a crash caused by a reckless driver. Here is some of the behavior that leads to drivers crashing into motorcyclists:
- Distracted or inattentive driving: Whether fiddling with a smartphone, searching for something in the passenger seat or eating behind the wheel, a distracted driver proves to be a dangerous one. And when minds wander to things other than driving, danger can occur, too, as a driver may veer into the lane occupied by a motorcyclist.
- Flouting traffic laws, signals and signs: A speeding car that blows through a stop sign or one that darts in and out of traffic can lead to a crash with a motorcycle.
- Drowsy driving and fatigue: Drivers must remain alert and keep their eyes moving. If they are tired, drivers may nod off. Their car may cross the center line and crash into an oncoming motorcycle.
- Drunk and drugged driving: Whether it is alcohol or illegal drug use, this behavior represents a threat to anyone on the road. Slower reactions and misjudging the road can lead to tragedy.
When drivers subscribe to unsafe behavior behind the wheel, it promises to lead to potentially dangerous consequences for motorcyclists and their passengers.
Coexistence and safety
Motorcycle Safety Awareness month shines the spotlight on the importance of safe driving behavior. Drivers must accept the fact that they have to share the road with motorcyclists. Coexistence can have long-term positive effects on safety matters.