May is Motorcycle Safety Month

Thursday, May 14th 2009, 3:58 pm
By: News On 6

Chris Howell,

The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office has proclaimed May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and is asking motorists to share the road with bikers.  In 2007, 74 Oklahomans lost their lives in motorcycle accidents.

"The fatality rate is higher just because there is no protection on a motorcycle," said Trooper Jon Moser, with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Motorcycle Division.  "Regardless of whether the motorcyclist causes the crash or not they're generally on the losing end as far as injuries are concerned."

Phil McDonald is an instructor with the Motorcycle Safety Training Center and advises both those new to the road and more veteran motorcyclists to take a motorcycle safety training course.

"It takes a person who has never ridden and teaches them basic skills, and then we have an experienced rider course to give them a little bit more of what they need to practice, bad habits they might have and how to fix them," said McDonald.

The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office offers these tips to bikers:

  • Drive defensively.  Don't assume other motorists are watching you.
  • Wear protective clothing.  The choice is yours in Oklahoma, but protective clothing is always wise.
  • Slow down and pay attention.  Other vehicles and road debris can cause problems quickly.
  • Don't mix alcohol or drugs with your ride time.
  • Take motorcycle safety courses to improve your knowledge and skills.

For passenger vehicles they offer these tips:

  • Observe the rights and privileges of motorcycle riders; allow riders the full lane width.
  • Always watch for motorcycles by using mirrors and double-checking blind spots.
  • Always signal before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Remember that ‘minor' road condition problems can cause major hazards for motorcyclists.
  • Allow additional following distances behind motorcycles, and don't tailgate.