In response to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration release of the 2006 Preliminary Fatality and Injury Assessment, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation is reminding all riders and motorists that they each have an important role in helping to reduce the number of motorcycle crashes on Americas roads and highways.
“The overwhelming number of motorcyclists who wind up in single-vehicle crash statistics are there because they arent following basic but important safety precautions when riding,” said Tim Buche, president of the MSF. “And fewer than half of all riders have taken any kind of formal training course. We also know that car drivers and other motorists are at fault a majority of the time in multiple-vehicle crashes that involve a motorcyclist. We have life-saving messages for everyone, whether they are behind the handlebars or behind a steering wheel.”
For motorcyclists, the MSF has five critical messages:
1.Get Trained and Licensed: Take an MSF RiderCourse and get licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Visit msf-usa.org, or call 800.446-9227.
2. Wear Protective Gear: Wear proper protective riding gear – all the gear all the time – most importantly a helmet that meets Department of Transportation standards.
3. Ride Unimpaired: Never use alcohol or other drugs when riding.
4. Ride Within Your Limits: Dont ride faster or longer than your abilities allow.
5. Be a Lifelong Learner: Regularly return for refresher rider training courses to brush up on skills and knowledge.
For car drivers and other motorists, the MSF says:
1. Look Out for Motorcyclists: Use your eyes and mirrors to see whats around.
2. Dont Be Distracted: Hang up and drive, put down the food, the pet, the personal grooming gear, the MP3 player, and the reading material and save it for later.
3. Give Two-Wheelers Some Room: Dont tailgate or get too close.
4. Use Your Turn Signals: Signal your intentions. Its also the law.
5. Keep it in the Car: Dont throw trash out the window, and secure cargo that can fall out on the road and become a deadly hazard.
“All of these are all doable, real-world actions that will cut down crashes and fatalities right now,” Buche said. “Above everything else, its about the human element, the attitude, the mind-set that motorcyclists and motorists have, and the choices they make out there on the road.”