May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
By May, every region nationwide is feeling the warmth of the summer sun. This means that even in the northernmost reaches, motorcycles are coming out of the garages and seeing the light of day once again. And that's why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration designated May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
Down south, Florida, Texas and California, consistently top the nation for motorcycle injuries and fatalities, largely because their near year-round warm climates means that motorcycles spend all 12 months on the roadways. So, it's important to understand that for every mile traveled, you’ve got a 30-times-higher risk of being killed in an accident on a motorcycle than when riding in a car.
No matter what you drive, E3 Spark Plugs wants to make sure you're safe on the roadways. To that end, we offer these top tips for staying safe every month of the year.
- Allow for a greater following distance when behind a motorcycle than when behind another car. Motorcycle riders don't have the protection that a car or truck offers passengers.
- Use extra caution in intersections. Most motorcycle-involved crashes happen when a passenger vehicle driver fails to see a motorcyclist and turns left in front of a bike.
- Never attempt to share a lane with a motorcycle. Always give a motorcycle the full lane width.
- If you're a rider, wear your helmet, even if your state doesn't require it. Studies and statistics show that wearing a helmet reduces your chances of being killed in an accident by at least 40 percent.
- If the weather's nasty, park your bike. Stopping distance for motorcycles is similar to that of cars, but wet, slippery pavement makes stopping more difficult.
- When on the road, always position your motorcycle to avoid a passenger vehicle driver's blind spot.
- Use turn signals for every turn or lane change.
- Don't drink and ride. NHTSA statistics show that more than nearly a third of all motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2012 were legally drunk. When it comes to motorcyclist killed in single vehicle accidents, some 43 percent overall were impaired, and on weekend nights, that figure jumps to 64 percent.
If you're itching to hear the rumble of your bike's engine and feel the wind in your face again, we hear ya. Just be safe out there. And to get the most out of your motorcycling experience, pick up a set of E3 motorcycle spark plugs for a stronger, cleaner, more fuel-efficient ride.