|This photo was taken in 1910 in Clay Center. From Kansas Memory.|
In 2014, 4,586 motorcyclists were killed in crashes, a decrease of 2.3 percent from 2013. Those deaths accounted for 14 percent of the total highway fatalities that year, despite motorcycle registrations representing only 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States.
The NHTSA offers the following safety tips for sharing the road with motorcycles:
- Allow motorcycles a full lane at all times. Even though they are small vehicles, they have all of the rights of the road as any other motorist.
- Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Watch for their turn signals. Just because a turn signal is on doesn't mean the ride is turning. Some signals are not self-canceling and riders may forget to turn them off. Ensure the rider is turning before proceeding.
- Check all mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes or merging with traffic. Motorcycles can be easily hidden in a vehicle's blind spot.
- Increase your following distance to three to four seconds when following a motorcycle. This gives riders more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
Motorcyclists have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as any other motorist on the roadway. Safe riding practices and cooperation from other road users will help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our roads. Be safe and “Share the Road!”