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Do your part to prevent motorcycle accidents in California

Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation in California, likely because it is less-expensive than driving a vehicle and the riding season lasts year-round in much of the state. In fact, there are more than 1.3 million licensed motorcycle riders in California.

That means other California motorists must get used to sharing the road safely with motorcyclists. To encourage this, the month of May has been designated by the California Highway Patrol and Office of Traffic Safety as Motorcycle Awareness Month.

The goal of the campaign is to drive home safety tips that both motorcyclists and drivers can use when sharing the roads.

Safety tips for motorcyclists include:

  • Always wear a helmet and protective gear.
  • Follow posted speed limits.
  • Act as though other drivers cannot see you.
  • When possible, stay out of blind spots, especially around large trucks.
  • Only use lane splitting in a safe and cautious manner.

Additionally, officials say that training and refresher courses are a must for motorcyclists.

“Motorcycle riders must be mindful of their skills and vulnerabilities,” said the OTS director in a press release.

“Meanwhile, other vehicle drivers must be mindful to always look for motorcycles. Getting home safely involves concentration on driving and consideration for everyone on the road,” the OTS director said.

Safety tips for drivers include:

  • Never follow too closely behind a motorcycle as even a simple rear-end accident can do serious damage.
  • Make a habit of looking twice for motorcycles, especially when merging and making lane-changes.
  • Use hyper-vigilance looking for motorcycles at intersections, which is where close to 25 percent of fatal accidents occur.

Unfortunately, fatal motorcycle accidents have been on the rise in California in recent years. In fact, the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System reported that fatal motorcycle accidents increase by close to 20 percent from 2010 to 2011.

We all need to do our part to prevent motorcycle accidents on California’s roads and highways.

Source: Lake County News, “CHP and OTS stress safety to help put the brakes on motorcycle-involved collisions,” May 1, 2014

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