The warm weather of spring and summer brings increased motorcycle traffic with Hoosiers out riding for recreation and transportation.
According to ICJI, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, motorcycles are involved in less than 2 percent of crashes in Indiana, but make up nearly 13 percent of all Indiana traffic deaths. Motorcycle crashes – and resulting injuries and deaths – have all declined over the past five years. According to ICJI motorcycle deaths have fluctuated from a low of 100 in 2016, to a high of 147 in 2017 to 112 in 2018. The Indiana State Police offer these safe driving tips so that everyone can share Hoosier highways safely.
Tips for passenger vehicles:
- Watch attentively for motorcycles. Check blinds spots before changing lanes and look twice at intersections before you turn or pull out into traffic.
- Use your turn signals when changing lanes.
- Anticipate hazards that may confront and affect a motorcyclists like large pot holes, debris, or other hazardous road conditions.
- Be cautious and observant when turning left. This is a primary cause of most crashes between vehicles and motorcycles, as cars frequently turn left into the path of oncoming motorcycles. Always take a second look for oncoming traffic.
- Remember, motorcycles are entitled to operate in a full lane.
- Allow a safe following distance as motorcycles stop quicker than cars.
- Never Drive Distracted or Impaired
- ALWAYS LOOK TWICE BEFORE PULLING OUT OR TURNING!
Tips for motorcycle riders:
- Wear protective equipment and clothing, especially a helmet. Motorcyclists age 18 or younger and those with a motorcycle learner’s permit are required to wear a helmet. Motorcyclists of all ages and abilities are less likely to be killed or injured if they wear helmets.
- Make yourself visible by wearing bright Hi-Viz clothing, by using reflective tape and by using your motorcycle’s headlight. Always use turn signals when changing lanes and turning.
- The top unsafe actions motorcycle operators can avoid are following too closely, unsafe speed, improper passing and disregarding a signal or sign.
- Look for road hazards, especially potholes. Be especially cautious around intersections, alleys, driveways, and other areas where an animal, pedestrian, or vehicle might enter your path.
- Avoid riding in the blind spot of other vehicles.
- Ride defensively; always leave enough reaction time for unexpected movements from other vehicles.
- Be cautious in construction zones watching for different pavement heights and drop-offs.
- Never ride impaired.
One of the best ways to avoid a motorcycle crash is to prepare for and pass the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles motorcycle skills and riding test, or to successfully complete an approved motorcycle safety course. More information is at www.RideSafeIndiana.com.
Motorcycles are harder to see then other vehicles; consequently, many crashes occur because other motorists don’t see the motorcycle. All motorists should take the time for a second look before pulling into an intersection or making a left turn. It only takes a second to take a second look and maybe save a life.