As area residents transition to warmer weather and everything spring brings to Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania DUI Association is reminding all motorists that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
Motorcycles are smaller than cars and trucks, and consequently less visible to other vehicle operators. Drivers are reminded to exercise additional caution during this time of year, as they once again grow accustomed to the presence of motorcycles on the Commonwealth’s streets and highways. Double checking mirrors, turning and looking, and listening for the sound of a motorcycle are just some of the things motorists should be doing before making any type of lane change or entering traffic.
Motorcycle operators also bear responsibility for safe operation. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Authority, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to be killed in a crash than other motorists. They also comprise the highest percentage of impaired drivers killed in crashes, with 37 percent of all motorcycle fatalities related to alcohol impairment.
Motorcycles don’t provide operators with the same protections as cars and trucks, therefore even the smallest error can result in a tragedy. Operation of a motorcycle demands clear perception and quick, correct decisions. Even small roadway hazards such as loose gravel or puddles can cause a crash. Motorcycle operators should never drink and ride, and they are urged to utilize extreme caution with prescription medications, as any level of impairment can lead to terrible consequences.
“Once again, Pennsylvania’s highways will see a heavy volume of motorcycle traffic,” said C. Stephen Erni, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania DUI Association. “Motorcycles present a unique challenge to all motorists, as they are difficult to see and often difficult to hear. We at the PA DUI Association want to remind all drivers that motorcycles are once again sharing the highway with them and to exercise additional caution while driving. We would also stress the (importance of) safe and sensible operation of motorcycles by their operators, and we remind all drivers that impaired driving is never acceptable and substantially increases the risk of a serious crash.”
The Pennsylvania DUI Association is dedicated to eliminating impaired driving through public awareness, training and working in conjunction with the men and women of law enforcement.
Note: The preceding is adapted from a news release by the Pennsylvania DUI Association.