Motorcyclists are nearly 5 times more likely to be injured and 29 times more likely to be killed in a crash than vehicle motorists.

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and AAA Carolinas is urging motorists and riders to do their part to make roads safer.

“We have to remember that motorcyclists are very vulnerable and those of us who prefer four-wheeled vehicles have a major responsibility to keep riders safe,” said Tiffany Wright AAA Carolinas spokesperson.  “As warmer temperatures bring out more riders, motorists have to be extra vigilant and motorcyclists must ride responsibly and take precautions such as wearing bright colors and using headlights day and night to help keep everyone safe.”    

Last year in North Carolina, there were 165 fatalities related to motorcycle crashes, up 21 percent from 2017’s 136. 

Motorists can help make roads safer for motorcyclists by taking some simple precautions:

  • Be extra cautious on weekends, when motorcyclists take to the road.
  • Provide motorcyclists adequate room to maneuver. Follow at least five to six seconds behind them.
  • Allow extra maneuvering room in areas with potholes, pavement transitions and railroad crossings. Motorcyclists may need to slow down, stop or adjust their lane position.
  • Never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Motorcycles have the same right to lanes as any other vehicle.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.
  • If a motorcycle is nearby, check your mirrors carefully before changing lanes. Motorcycles may be in your blind spots or difficult to see because of their smaller size.

One of the most common reasons drivers give for cutting off or pulling out in front of a motorcycle is that they “didn’t see it.”

Motorcyclists can prevent crashes and injuries by:

  • Keep headlights on day and night (it is the law). 
  • Assume motorists can’t see you and make yourself visible.
  • Never ride distracted or impaired.
  • Be aware that riding with a passenger requires more skill.
  • Be courteous; don’t weave in and out of lanes, or ride on shoulders or between lanes.
  • Wear helmets that meet a high protection standard.
  • Wear bright and reflective clothing, proper eye wear and sturdy, closed toe footwear.

For any riders interested in getting one-on-one or group training, AAA Approved MotoMark1 in North Carolina offers state-of-the-art motorcycle training courses utilizing instructor-to-student communication. MotoMark1 has been training riders for 16 years and has locations across North Carolina in Jacksonville, Wilkesboro, Burlington and Fayetteville. Watch their video here.