Whether you ride your motorcycle year-round or only when the weather turns warmer, the summer months pose constant opportunities to hit the roads and spend time outdoors. You may look forward to the freedom of driving on the open roads.
However, motorcyclists face constant dangers on New York roads. In summer months, with more drivers on the roads due to holiday weekends, extended vacations, school out for the summer and more, these risks can become heightened. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), while motorcyclists account for just 3% of registered vehicles, they account for 14% of traffic-related fatalities. As a motorcyclist, what do you need to know to stay safe and avoid a serious accident?
Distracted driving poses constant risks
In the summer, the increased number of drivers on the roads can increase the risk of distracted drivers. Notably, teen drivers are at a particular risk to drive while distracted. According to a recent study by the AAA, 52% reported reading a text while driving within the past 30 days while 40% reported sending a text within the same time period.
However, the AAA reports that the role of distracted driving in crashes is underreported, as proving whether texting or other forms of distractions influenced a collision can be difficult. Teen-involved crashes are most common in the summer.
Distracted driving can be particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. Visibility of motorcycles is already an issue, with many drivers failing to adequately check their blind spots for motorcycles and other vehicles before a lane change, merge or turn. Distractions can only worsen this issue.
Safety tips for motorcyclists to remain visible
According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), there are several factors that affect the visibility of motorcycles. These include their smaller size, speed, less obvious brake lights and more.
Motorcyclists can take several steps to enhance their visibility to motorists:
- Wear high-visibility clothing and gear, especially at night or in poor weather
- Allow enough space between you and the vehicle ahead of you
- Signal your turns well in advance
- Consistently maintain your motorcycle to ensure lights are in working order
- Drive defensively and stay aware of your surroundings at all times
Motorcycle crashes can result in severe injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), broken bones, spinal cord injuries and more. Drive responsibly and defensively to protect yourself and avoid an accident.