In recognition of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, I’m reaching out to Lexington County motorists and motorcyclists alike, encouraging them to “share the road” in order to reduce motorcyclist deaths and injuries.

A key way we can reduce traffic fatalities and keep our roads safe is for drivers to understand motorcycle safety challenges such as size and visibility, and riding practices like downshifting and weaving to be able to anticipate and respond to motorcyclist behavior.

By practicing the following habits, drivers and riders can improve highway safety for everyone:

Drivers should

  • Be on the lookout for motorcyclists at all times;
  • Know the location of your vehicle’s blind spots. This can significantly improve your odds of avoiding a collision with a motorcyclist;
  • Signal all lane changes and turns, and constantly check mirrors and blind spots before proceeding;
  • Be fully focused on the task of driving and in control of their vehicles at all times; and
  • Never drive impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Riders should

  • Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed;
  • Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and use reflective tape and gear to be more visible. NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,699 motorcyclists in 2012; and
  • Never ride while impaired or distracted.

Please join me in reaching out to drivers and motorcyclists this month to encourage safe driving every day of the year.