May was designated as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by Governor Roy Cooper to bring awareness to motorcycle fatalities and serious injuries on North Carolina roadways. Motorists are encouraged to share the road and watch closely for motorcycles and riders to practice safe riding.

Motorcyclists are nearly five times more likely to be injured and 29 times more likely to be killed in a crash than any other vehicle. Additionally, a rider not wearing a helmet is five times more likely to sustain a critical head injury.

In 2017, there were 3,600 motorcycle-related crashes that resulted in 141 fatalities and 592 serious injuries. This was an eight percent (8%) reduction from 2016, which saw 151 rider fatalities. However, in 2018, there have been 35 fatalities, which is a two percent (2%) decrease from the same time a year ago.

As such, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program urges motorcyclists and other drivers to follow the following safety tips:

Motorcyclists:

  • Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear;
  • Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed;
  • Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn;
  • Wear brightly colored clothes, gear, and reflective tape to increase visibility;
  • Obey the posted speed limit; and
  • Never ride distracted or impaired.

Other Drivers:

  • Share the road. Motorcyclists have the right to a full lane;
  • Stay alert and be aware that motorcycles can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spot, so take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic when changing lanes, especially at intersections;
  • Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic;
  • Keep a safe distance by allowing more following space—three to four seconds—behind motorcycles;
  • Be cautious, as not all turn signals on a motorcycle are self-canceling, thus some riders sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change;
  • Obey the posted speed limit; and
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.

To help further Governor Cooper’s initiative, BikeSafe North Carolina invites motorcyclists to participate in a free “Rider Skills Day” class that offers an assessment of current driving skills and provides advice to help make motorcyclists’ experience safer and more enjoyable.

At Miller Law Group, we know that clients facing injuries as a result of a motorcycle accident or negligence of another individual face a difficult road to recovery. We are here to help. Allow us to focus on the legal process so that you and your family can focus on healing. Contact us if you need to speak to a caring attorney if you or someone you loved has suffered injury as the result of another’s negligence.

For more information regarding Motorcycle Safety Awareness month and Governor Cooper’s initiative, please visit https://apps.ncdot.gov/newsreleases/details.aspx?r=15137.