Be alert to safety during Motorcycle Awareness Month

Getting the necessary word out about sharing the road with motorcycles has remained a crucial safety campaign for decades. Since the early 1980s, Motorcycle Awareness Month has been recognized in May. It’s a warmer time of the year when motorcycle enthusiasts tune up their bikes and ride on the open road and into the wind.

But along with those open roads, potential dangers exist. An estimated 82,000 motorcyclists sustained injuries and 4,985 motorcyclists died in road accidents in 2018, reported the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of those nearly 5,000 deaths, a total of 83 occurred in Wisconsin.

Inattention, flouting traffic laws

Here are some of the dangers faced by motorcyclists when sharing roads with car, SUV, pick-up and large truck drivers:

  • Inattention and distraction: All motorists must pay attention when driving, especially when sharing the road with smaller motorcycles. Daydreaming, eating while driving and texting behind the wheel sound the alarm for any driver. Motorcyclists must be on the alert.
  • Failing to abide by traffic laws: When drivers speed and blow through stop signs and traffic lights, they are dangerous. Reckless behavior has no room on roads but continues to occur.
  • Fatigue and drowsy driving: Long road trips can lead to tired drivers whose reactions are less than alert. They may nod off or doze behind the wheel, leading to serious accidents. Large truck drivers are susceptible.
  • Alcohol or drug consumption: Any person who partakes in these vices and gets behind the wheel tempts fate. Dangerous accidents leading to fatalities and serious injuries often are inevitable in such situations.

Motorcyclists know the importance of safety whenever they get on their bikes and ride. For them, Motorcycle Awareness Month is every month. Let us hope other motorists adhere to the same philosophy.