ODOT reminds highway users to ‘Share the Road’
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
New Philadelphia, Ohio (Monday, May 6, 2013) – Motorcycle riding is popular in Ohio with nearly 400,000 licensed riders, and many of them will be hitting the highways soon as the temperatures warm up and summer nears. In recognition of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 reminds motorists and motorcyclists alike to “share the road” conscientiously and courteously to help prevent motorcycle crashes on eastern Ohio roadways.
“Everyone has the right to use Ohio’s roads – motorcycles, bicycles, trucks, cars, and pedestrians, and safety is everyone’s responsibility,” said District 11 Deputy Director Lloyd MacAdam. “So it’s important to be alert, avoid distractions, respect other’s rights, and know the traffic laws. It’s up to all of us to Share the Road.”
Last year, there were 165 reported motorcycle-related deaths in Ohio. According to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, per vehicle mile, motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of cars and five times more likely to be injured. In 2011, 4,612 motorcyclists died on America’s roads, accounting for 14 percent of total highway deaths despite motorcycle registrations representing only about three percent of all vehicles in the country.
MacAdam said, “Whether you are driving the family sedan, an SUV, a school bus, a delivery van, or an 18-wheeler, drivers should always be on the lookout for motorcyclists. Drivers must be aware that a motorcycle, as one of the smallest of vehicles on the road, can be ‘hiding’ in a vehicle’s blind spots. Always check blind spots, use mirrors, and signal before changing lanes or making turns.”
Motorcyclists can increase their safety by:
Wearing a helmet and protective clothing, such as gloves, boots, and a jacket
Riding defensively – being alert to other drivers and assuming others do not see you
Being conspicuous at all times – wear brightly colored gear, use reflective tape and stickers to increase visibility, and use your headlight all the time
Using turn signals for every turn or lane change and combining with hand signals to draw more attention to themselves
Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers and never ride between lanes
Allowing space and time for emergency braking
Never riding impaired or distracted
Some tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe are:
Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle.
Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width – never try to share a lane
Check mirrors and blind spots regularly for motorcycles, especially before entering or exiting a lane of traffic and at intersections
Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic
Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling, and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.
Allow more following distance when behind a motorcycle to give it time to maneuver around obstacles in the roadway or stop in an emergency
In 2011, there were nearly 300,000 crashes in Ohio – over 1,000 people were killed, and 108,252 people were injured. Safety is ODOT’s number one priority. By reducing roadway fatalities five percent by 2015, we can save 150 lives. Many of today’s crashes could be prevented through increased safety awareness and safer driving practices.
For additional information on motorcycle safety, click here or visit ODOT’s “Every Move You Make, Keep It Safe” campaign Web site at www.everymove.ohio.gov designed to educate Ohioans on how to use the roads safely – whether behind the wheel, behind handlebars, or on foot.
Ohio’s highways are essential to keeping and creating new jobs. With a mission to provide easy movement of people and goods from place to place, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is responsible for maintaining one of the largest transportation networks in the nation. Guided by ethical principles and accountability, ODOT works to improve safety, enhance travel and advance economic development. As a $2.8 billion enterprise, the department wisely invests in its core services of snow and ice removal, annual construction program and highway maintenance operations.
For more information contact:
Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, Public Information Officer, at (330) 308-3949
or email D11.PIO@dot.state.oh.us