The month of May was National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. While it can be effective to dedicate that time to increase motorcycle safety, it is essential that all drivers and motorcyclists continue to do so even after that month is over.
This is especially important in Pennsylvania, which is one of the most dangerous states for motorcyclists.
Pennsylvania roads are not safe for motorcyclists
In 2017, Pennsylvania ranked fourth in the list of states with the most motorcycle deaths. And this year does not look much better. There have been several fatal motorcycle accidents across the commonwealth already this year since the warmer weather arrived.
Unfortunately, there is no specific reason why Pennsylvania roads are so dangerous for motorcyclists. However, the Governors Highway Safety Association’s report does list a few common contributing factors, including:
- Inclement weather
- Lack of helmet use
- Impaired driving
Other motorists on the road also pose a significant hazard to motorcyclists. When they do not understand a motorcycle’s right of way or do not take care to look for motorcycles, they could hit them or drive them off the road.
How to expand motorcycle safety awareness
Increasing motorcycle safety should not stop after May ends. It is something that motorcyclists and drivers alike should keep in mind for the length of the warm weather months.
It is critical that motorcyclists:
- Wear helmets and protective gear every time they ride
- Inspect their motorcycle regularly to ensure it is in good condition
- Attend a motorcycle safety course to reinforce riding skills
- Follow all traffic laws and signals
- Drive defensively
However, other motorists on Pennsylvania roads can also help keep motorcyclists safe by:
- Checking blind spots carefully before turning or changing lanes
- Maintaining a safe following distance from motorcycles
- Always using turn signals
Even if motorcyclists wear all of the proper protective gear and drive defensively, they usually fare much worse in a collision with another vehicle than the other driver. Therefore, every motorist on the road has the responsibility to keep the roads safe for motorcyclists. And improving safety measures for motorcyclists often makes the roads safer for everyone.