May Is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Florida

During the month of May, the Florida Highway Patrol will be working extra hard to preventmotorcycle accidents, educating both riders and other drivers, while encouraging them to share the road. Though fatal motorcycle accidents are down 10 percent nationally, and 24 percent in Florida, authorities recognize that there is still much to be done to improve safety on the road.

While many motorcycle safety advocates focus on inattentive drivers, during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, Florida troopers will be working to educate both sides. Drivers will be encouraged to check their mirrors and blind spots carefully, keeping an eye out for motorcyclists. Riders will be prompted to use sufficient safety equipment and conduct themselves appropriately on the road.

Under Florida law, all motorcyclists are required to take a 15-hour basic rider course before they can even get on a bike. The law has been in place since 2008 and, given the nearly 25 percent drop in fatal motorcycle accidents, seems to be working.

Some tips for motorcycle safety include:

  • Wear a helmet at all times
  • Wear protective clothing, whether leather or other motorcycle-specific jackets and pants
  • Change lanes safely – use a turn signal and do not cut sharply between other vehicles

Other drivers are asked to:

  • give motorcyclists a good amount of room on the road, just as you would any other vehicle
  • keep your eyes peeled when approaching intersections to avoid turning into the path of an approaching motorcycle

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a national campaign supported by the National Safety Council and promoted by states across the country.

Safe driving and don’t forget to share the road!

Related Resources:

  • FHP: Motorcycle Safety Up to Riders, Drivers (News 4 Jax, May 4, 2010)
  • Press release: “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” (National Safety Council, May 1, 2010)