Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month: Fact Sheet

riding a motorcycle safely
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. During this time, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to help vehicle drivers and motorists practice safe riding practices and cooperation. This effort will help lower the number of injuries and fatalities on the highway.

Highway Facts

  • An estimated 5,579 motorcyclists died in 2020, 11% higher than in 2019. About 82,500 were injured, 2% lower than in 2019.
  • Motorcyclists over the age of 55 were 27% of 2020 crashes. From 2011 to 2020, this percentage shifted upwards by 37% from 1,087 to 1,486.
  • The average age of motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents was 43 in 2020.
  • In 2020, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely to die in a motor crash and four times more likely to be injured than passenger vehicle occupants.
  • About half of motorcyclists that passed away on the road between 2011 and 2020 died on the weekend. Nonetheless, weekday fatalities have increased by 15% since 2020, from 2,402 to 2,765.

Motorist Safety Tips

  • Be cautious: Steer clear of distractions like texting that place you and others at risk when interacting with motorcyclists.
  • Yield: Watch and observe all traffic laws, including yielding to other motorcyclists at intersections and other locations on the road.
  • Avoid impaired driving: Don’t drive after consuming alcohol or drugs.
  • Be defensive: Remember to drive defensively at all times.
  • Watch distance: Note the small size of the motorcycles. It can be trickier to judge their distance, so take care when working your way around them.
  • Provide room: Give more distance when behind someone on a motorcycle. They will have more time to stop or maneuver if something goes wrong.
  • Give a full lane: Provide motorcyclists with full lane width. They need room to maneuver safely, no matter how much it looks like they have.
  • Provide warning: Signal before changing lanes on the road. Motorcyclists can use this alert to get into a safer spot as they shift.
  • Watch obstructions: Obstructions are common at intersections. If you’re turning and can’t see oncoming traffic, wait. Scan the road to ensure no motorcyclists or pedestrians are visible before proceeding with the turn. Take it slow.
  • Look at blind spots: Check mirrors and blind spots before merging with traffic.
  • Watch motorcycle signals: Note that some motorcycle signals might be a mistake. Still, move with caution until their signal turns off to keep them safe.
  • Check all unseeable areas: Remember that it’s easy for a motorcycle to disappear in a blind spot. Look for motorcyclists in mirrors and blind spots before shifting to another lane for the safest navigation.

Motorcyclist Safety Tips

  • Obey laws: Observe and obey all traffic laws.
  • Avoid impaired driving: Do not ride while distracted or impaired. This action puts you and those around you at risk for injury and even death.
  • Be educated: Complete rider education courses and get a current license for your motorcycle. About 36% of motorcyclists in 2020 did not have a valid license when they were in a fatal crash.
  • Be defensive: Always use defensive driving techniques when riding or driving.
  • Note the speed limit: Follow the speed limit.
  • Don’t speed: In 2020, 34% of motorcyclists that passed in crashes were speeding. Those in the 25-29 age group category were the highest speeders in the group.
  • Wear proper protective gear: Always wear a helmet, eye protection, a durable jacket and pants, durable gloves, and protective over-the-ankle footwear.

Contact Bear Law

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you can count on an experienced personal injury lawyer at Bear Law to fight for your right to fair compensation for your injuries.
Bear Law has decades of experience in handling important cases like yours. Our experienced California personal injury lawyers protect the rights of the injured throughout Orange County, California. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your case.