According to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) as of 2009, motorcycle fatalities have decreased for the first time in 12 years. It’s important that motorcycle and other drives continue to work together to raise awareness of roadway safety and keep the trend going.
As such, Fort Myers, Naples, Thunderbird and Rocket Harley-Davidson locations have announced they are joining with other federal, state and local highway safety, law enforcement, and motorcycle organizations in proclaiming May 2011 as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.” All motorists are reminded to safely “Share the Road” with motorcycles and to be extra alert when driving to help keep motorcyclists safe.
“With higher than ever gas prices, more motorcycles are on the roads than usual. Drivers of all vehicles need to be extra alert,” commented Scott Fischer, CEO of Scott Fischer Enterprises, owner of the Harley-Davidson retail locations. “Motorcycles are some of the smallest vehicles on the road so folks in other vehicles need to really look out for them—and to take extra care to safely ‘Share the Road’.”
Because of their smaller size, motorcyclists are often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. “It’s crucial that motorists always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.”
Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than passenger vehicle drivers in the event of a crash. Research shows that the risk of motorcycle crashes injuring the rider is approximately 4 times higher than passenger car crashes injuring a person in their vehicle.
Fischer offered several tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways:
- Remember the motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle on the roadway. Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width—never try to share a lane;
- Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections;
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic;
- Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed;
- Remember that road conditions which are minor annoyances to other vehicles pose major hazards to motorcyclists;
- Allow more following distance, three or four seconds, when following a motorcycle, so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. And don’t tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
Fischer said motorcyclists have responsibilities, too, by following the rules of the road, being alert to other drivers, and always wearing DOT-compliant helmets and protective gear.
The message from Scott Fischer Enterprises is simple: Continue to keep the roadways safe – for everyone. Help to share in the responsibility and do your part by safely ‘Sharing the Road’ with motorcycles.”
All the Harley-Davidson retail locations, Fort Myers, Naples, Thunderbird and Rocket, have a strong commitment to motorcycle safety as well as the community. For more information please call Fort Myers Harley-Davidson at (239) 275-HOGS (4647) or visit http://www.hdfortmyers.com. To contact Naples Harley-Davidson, please call (239) 594-5504 or visit http://www.hdnaples.com. Thunderbird Harley-Davidson can be reached at (505) 856-1600 or by visiting http://www.thunderbirdhd.com or Rocket Harley-Davidson at (256) 340-7333 or http://www.rocketharley.com.
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Scott Fischer Enterprises, and all their Harley-Davidson locations, has a strong commitment to motorcycle safety as well as the community. For more information, please visit http://www.harleyflorida.com.