The month of May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. Throughout the US, federal, state, and local law enforcement and safety officials are banning together to remind the drivers of cars, trucks, and buses that they share the road with motorcyclists so that they can take precautions to prevent motorcycle accidents from happening.
Staying aware that there are motorcycles on the road is especially important during this time of year. As spring turns to summer and the weather gets warmer, more riders will be donning their helmets as they get on roads and highways in Portland, the rest of Oregon, and elsewhere in the United States. 51 motorcycle riders died in Oregon in 2007, which is a definite increase from the 44 Oregon motorcycle deaths in 2006 and the state’s 48 motorcycle fatalities in 2005.
There’s no getting around the fact that not having a vehicle around their bodies to protect them when they are on the road places motorcycle riders at high risk of sustaining catastrophic injuries any time they are in an Oregon traffic crash.
Late last month, a motorcycle rider’s leg was severed in an Oregon traffic accident with a motor vehicle that occurred near Fair Oaks. The driver of the Toyota involved in the auto crash was later arrested and charged with hit and run, driving while suspended, and reckless driving.
To mark Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Oregon Department of Transportation and Governor Ted Kulongoski are offering motorists a number of suggestions for how they can help keep motorcyclists safe on Oregon roads, including:
• Check your mirrors and blind spots when leaving or entering a lane or an intersection to see whether there are motorcycles in the vicinity.
• Don’t try to share a lane while riding next to a motorcycle.
• Remember to signal any time you merge into traffic or switch lanes.
• Make sure that you allow 3 to 4 seconds more following distance when you are riding behind a motorcycle so that the rider has space to move or stop during an emergency.
• Never tailgate a motorcycle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and other federal, state, and local safety and transportation agencies want people to remember to share the road safely not just with motorcyclists but with the drivers of other motor vehicles as well as pedestrians.
Personal injuries and wrongful deaths can result when negligent driving leads to Portland, Oregon, motorcycle accidents.
Governor proclaims Motorcycle Safety Month, Oregon.gov, April 29, 2009
Hit-and-run crash severs man’s leg, NRToday.com, April 27, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Motorcycle Safety Awareness, NHTSA
Motorcycle Safety Foundation