SHERIFF KOON'S COLUMN: Watch out for motorcycles all year long

Lexington, SC (05/24/2021 Sheriff Jay Koon) - May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and with warmer weather starting, you’ll likely see more motorcyclist on the roadways. I am writing to you this week to remind you how to “share the road” safely.

In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 5,014 motorcyclists were killed. Per vehicle miles traveled in 2019, motorcyclists were about 29 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured, according to NHTSA.

It’s important for drivers to recognize the safety challenges faced by motorcyclists. It is harder for them to see around vehicles because of their size and the riding practices they have to take. Make sure you are aware of motorcyclist weaving in traffic and how to respond to them.

Remembering these general tips go a long way toward preventing a fatal crash with a motorcycle.

Drivers should:

· Allow the motorcycle full width of the road at all times

· Check all mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes

· Always use a turn signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.

Riders should:

· Practice operating your motorcycle

· Check your motorcycle before every ride to make it is operating correctly

· Ride responsibly

· Be alcohol and drug free

· Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and use reflective tape and gear to be more visible.

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