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California focuses on motorcycle safety in May

If you didn't get your safety-awareness fill in April during Distracted Driving Awareness Month, you're in for some good news. All across California, May has been designated Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

In all seriousness, this is an issue that, like distracted driving, is worthy of its own month. Far too many motorcyclists are killed and injured each year. And preventing motorcycle accidents is the responsibility of every rider and every driver on California roads.

It's true that motorcyclists don't always ride safely. Some fail to wear helmets, others weave in and out of traffic at high speeds and some don't take the time and effort to learn how to handle their motorcycle properly.

That being said, drivers of cars and trucks are far from perfect when it comes to sharing the road with motorcyclists. Drivers often fail to notice motorcyclists, don't give them enough room in the lane and sometimes make dangerous moves that prove to be fatal. The left-turn accident is perhaps the most egregious example. Too often, drivers make left turns across oncoming traffic while either failing to see an approaching motorcyclist or misjudging his distance. The motorcyclist is left with no time to slow down or swerve and a fatal collision is often the result.

No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, please remember that you are responsible for your own safety and the safety of others you encounter on the road (to the extent of your control). Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a good opportunity for all of us to pay attention to some of the most vulnerable travelers on California roads.

Source: Orange County Breeze, "Rising motorcycle fatalities and injuries bring safety tips from California Highway Patrol," May 6, 2015

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