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Letter: Let’s share the road and keep everyone safe

Let’s share the road and keep everyone safe

In recognition of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, I would like to reach out to motorists and motorcyclists alike, encouraging them to share the road in order to reduce motorcycle deaths and injuries. Motorcycles are among the most vulnerable vehicles on the road, putting riders at greater risk of death and serious injury in a crash. According to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 30 times more likely than occupants of cars to die in a crash, and five times more likely to be injured.

The latest statistics from the NHTSA display this tragedy in stark numbers. Up until 2013, motorcycle deaths increased every year over 16 years, except in 2009, which saw a decline. In 2013, 4,668 motorcyclists died on America’s roads, accounting for 14 percent of total highway deaths despite motorcycle registrations representing only about 3 percent of all vehicles in the country. That’s 4,668 too many deaths that we can help prevent.

Drivers should be on the lookout for motorcyclists at all times, signal all lane changes and turns, constantly check mirrors and blind spots before proceeding, be focused on the task of driving and in control of their vehicles at all times, and never drive impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Riders should obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed, wear a DOT-compliant helmet and use reflective tape and gear to be more visible, and never ride while impaired or distracted.

Monica Farrar

Program Director, Resource

Training Center, Amherst