May is Motorcycle Awareness Month and it is important to stay educated on motorcycle safety, whether you ride or not. While driving, it is vital to share the road with motorcyclists and treat them as you would any other motor vehicle. Be sure to keep an eye out for riders at intersections and in the regular flow of traffic. While driving a car, or riding a motorcycle, never distract yourself with texts or phone calls. In 2013 alone, 3,154 people were killed in distraction-related crashes. In addition, texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk. If drivers and motorcycle riders respect each other’s space on the road, it will go a long way in reducing the number of accidents and fatalities.
There have been over 4,000 annual motorcycle deaths for the past ten years and this number would be much higher if not for helmet use. Helmets are 37% effective in preventing fatalities and 67% effective in preventing brain injury. A former Marine veteran, Calvin Smith, was wearing a helmet when he was involved in a motorcycle crash in 2007. Smith was hit by a driver who was texting at the time. The crash left him with an amputated leg and required him to have several surgeries on his spine, as well as compounding the traumatic brain injuries dealt to him while in the service. Despite these hardships, Smith is grateful to be alive thanks to his helmet. He now works with the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center to educate on the importance of wearing the proper protective gear. You can see a video to hear more of Smith’s inspiring story here.
Although Calvin Smith was fortunate enough to be saved by his helmet, hundreds of other motorcyclists are killed by improper safety gear or ignorant or distracted drivers each year. Brushing up on motorcycle safety for all drivers is important this month and throughout the entire year. You can read more about motorcycle safety facts and figures here. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 989-781-4307.