There are more that nine million motorcycles registered for street use in this country, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation reports. Automobile Safety Report
Sadly, the surge in popularity of motorcycle riding corresponds with an increase in motorcycle related fatalities. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists made up about 14 percent of all vehicle related fatalities in 2013, a nine percent jump from 2004. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcycle fatalities occurred 26 more times more frequently than passenger car fatalities. And in 2013, motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were found to have the highest percentage of alcohol impaired drivers – with 40 percent of motorcycle riders who died in single vehicle collisions found to be under the influence.
To raise awareness about these alarming trends, the NHSTA has designed May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Motorcycles and their riders are much smaller visual targets than cars or trucks — and often not conspicuous – so drivers may not expect to see them. The warmer weather means more motorcyclists are taking to the road, so throughout the month – and during the rest of the year — all road users are reminded to be extra alert and to safely “share the road” with motorcyclists. //www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles. Motorcyclists are also reminded to make themselves visible, the NHTSA says, and to wear protective clothing — including helmets.
One of the best ways to ensure motorcycle safety — and reduce fatalities – is to undergo proper training. The California Motorcycle Safety Program trains over 65,000 motorcyclists each year. For more information visit //www.chp.ca.gov/Programs-Services/Programs/California-Motorcyclist-Safety.