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Watch out for motorcyclists and stay safe this summer

With spring here and summer just around the corner, it's a good time to remind people about motorcycle safety. The police in California are doing that, pointing out that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Police in Union City, specifically, asked drivers to do what they can to prevent fatal collisions.

Motorcyclists make up around 14 percent of all fatalities caused by traffic accidents in 2015 reports. Shockingly, they make up only 3 percent of registered vehicles in the country. With an 11 percent increase in the number of motorcyclist deaths between 2015 and 2016 in California, it's more important than ever for people to stand together to reduce the risks to riders.

The police remind drivers and motorcyclists both to use turn signals and to be cautious when merging. Drivers should also be cautious if they see motorcyclists signalling, since these signals do not turn off automatically as they do in motor vehicles. Finally, drivers should continue to check their mirrors and blind spots before moving into another lane, since motorcyclists could be obstructed.

As a motorcyclist, it's too easy to fall into a driver's blind spots or to get hit because a driver isn't paying attention. Remember to do what you can to stay visible; wear a helmet and ride only in areas where you're comfortable with the route. It's in your best interests to let someone know when you'll arrive if you go out, so at least one person knows if you're hit while you're out. If you are hurt, you'll be able to make a claim, but the best possibility is to avoid an accident completely.

Source: SFGate, "Police Ask Motorists For Help In Avoiding Fatal Motorcycle Crashes," May 13, 2018

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