May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
As the weather gets warmer in Pennsylvania, the number of motorcycles on our roads also increases. Unfortunately, this also coincides with an uptick in motorcycle accidents and fatalities. To address this growing concern, Governor Josh Shapiro has declared May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month throughout the state. This and the national campaign aim to remind drivers about the importance of watching out for bikers and sharing the road with motorcycles.
The dangers faced by motorcyclists on the road are well documented. In 2022, there were about 3,369 crashes involving motorcycles on Pennsylvania roadways, resulting in 217 fatalities. These statistics represent a decrease from the previous year's figures but highlight the ongoing need for increased road safety measures.
To tackle this problem, PennDOT continues to focus on motorcycle safety. With nearly 850,000 licensed motorcyclists in Pennsylvania, it is crucial that drivers of larger vehicles remain aware of the unique challenges faced by bikers.
Tips for Drivers to Share the Road with Motorcycles
Bikers continue to be overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes nationwide, with 5,932 motorcyclists killed in 2021 - comprising 14% of all traffic fatalities.
Sharing the road with motorcycles requires extra care and attention from drivers. Here are some tips to help keep everyone safe:
- Check your blind spots. Motorcycles can be difficult to see and may blend into the surrounding environment due to their low profiles. Always check your car's blind spots to see if there are any bikers nearby before changing lanes or merging.
- Eliminate distractions and stay aware of your surroundings. Distractions can be deadly when sharing the road with motorcyclists. Stay aware of your surroundings and keep the volume down on your music device so you can hear if a motorcycle is approaching, even if you can't see it.
- Give motorcyclists room. Motorcycles can maneuver more quickly than other vehicles. Give them enough space to avoid rear-end collisions and side-impact crashes. Safety experts recommend a following distance of 3 to 4 seconds when traveling behind a motorcyclist. In addition, you should never try to share a lane with a motorcycle.
- Use caution when passing. The increased speed of your vehicle can cause a heavy wind that could throw off a rider's balance and force them to crash. Use your turn signal to let them know you are passing (if it's safe and legal) and return to your lane when you are a safe distance ahead.
- Adjust your driving for the conditions. Motorcyclists face additional risks when exposed to bad weather or difficult road conditions. Give them enough room to maneuver if they slide or fall.
- Signal your intentions. Use your turn signal early to notify riders of your intentions. Watch out for motorcycles with their turn signals on and give them extra space.
- Check twice when making left turns and approaching intersections. When turning left or crossing lanes at intersections, be on the lookout for motorcycles and come to a complete stop to ensure no other vehicles are approaching.
It's also important to remember that you don't have to hit a motorcyclist to cause a motorcycle accident. Even if a biker is able to avoid a collision with your vehicle, sudden movements or swerves to avoid a potential crash can cause the rider to lose control and potentially crash.
Romanow Law Group fights for injured bikers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, an attorney can take steps to protect your rights and aggressively advocate for your best interests. Insurance companies often try to limit the amount of compensation they have to pay out, such as by arguing that the motorcyclist was partially at fault for the accident or downplaying the severity of the injuries sustained.
At Romanow Law Group, we are dedicated to fighting for our clients' rights and doing more so you get more. We work hard to gather evidence, review documentation, interview witnesses and consult experts to build a strong case. Our attorneys believe that serious motorcycle accidents require serious representation and are ready to fight for you all the way to court if that's what it takes to get the outcome your case deserves.
Put The Romanow Difference to work for you. Contact us online or call 1-844-GET-MORE to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers.