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Motorcycle Safety Month

Spring is in full swing. The weather is warmer and people are excited! Many are excited to simply hang up their winter coats and pull out their summer dresses. Others, are excited to polish their motorcycles and take them out for long over due rides. As the temperature increases, the amount of motorcyclists on the road increases too. May begins peak riding season and is also Motorcycle Safety Month.

Motorcycle Safety Month aims to remind drivers to be aware of motorcycle riders and to be mindful of their safety according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. About half of all motorcycle crashes involve a passenger vehicle. In those crashes, the car driver is most often at fault. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation reminds drivers to, “drive nice and look twice.” Meaning, drivers should double check blind spots and be acutely aware to the presence of motorcyclists around them.

Motorcycle enthusiasts throughout the state of Texas help promote Motorcycle Safety Awareness throughout the month. Although it is national Motorcycle Safety Month, the Texas initiative was started in 2003 by the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents (TCOC&I). The state-wide effort involves 10 TCOC&I Regions with is comprised of 211 cities and 14 counties. Texas Governor Rick Perry helped kick off the safety promotion. He encouraged, "All Texas motorists to do everything they can to ensure the safety of motorcyclists and other users of Texas roadways."

There are many things that drivers can do to help ensure the safety of the motorcyclists they’re sharing road space with. Some of the following safety precautions may seem like common sense. However, since almost two-thirds of fatal motorcycle crashes involve a passenger vehicle, clearly a little reminder wouldn’t hurt.

  • Look out for Motorcyclists

  • Check your blind spots often

  • Double check them when you're attempting to change lanes

  • Pay attention

  • Distracted drivers are especially dangerous to motorcyclists
  • Give riders room to maneuver

  • Motorcycles need as space on the road a normal passenger car.

  • During wet road conditions it can take a motor cycle longer than a car to come to a sudden stop.

  • Always use your turn signal

  • Don't litter

  • Cigarettes, trash and other debris on the road can be hazardous to motorcyclists if they run it over or are hit with it while riding.

If you are a motorcyclist there are many things you can do to better protect yourself on the road. First and foremost you should obtain a motorcycle license and proper motorcycle safety training. These are absolutely imperative, without a license and proper training the following safety measurers will mostly likely render completely useless. However, once licensed and trained, the following measures will help ensure your safety.

  • Ensure your motorcycle is in good shape

  •  Check tire pressure weekly.
     Check the treading on a regular basis to prevent a major blow-out on the highway.
     Check of oil and/or gas leaks on a regular basis.

  • Wear Protection

  • Always wear a helmet! It may not look too cool, but it will definitely help save your life. If your helmet does not have a full face guard, you should purchase goggles.
     A long sleeved leather jacket and leather pants will help prevent painful road burn in the event there is an accident. Another heavy fabric can also be substituted for leather is you prefer.
     Thick soled boots that cover your ankles will help prevent burns for the heat of the road and your bike.

  • Use good judgment

  •  Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is always a bad idea. It doesn't matter if you are licensed, trained and wearing all the right gear, if you’re operating a motorcycle impaired your odds of being involved in an accident increase tremendously.
     Follow the rules of the road. Always obey speed limits and other rules of the road.
    Ride within your own limits. There is no need to show off on motorcycle, plenty of people already think your brave for being on one in the first place.

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