As the warm weather approaches, the West Goshen Police Department Traffic Safety Division would like to remind you to be aware of motorcycles on the roadway. The following are some safety tips and facts to help keep our roadways safe for everyone:
With 4985 of deaths in 2018, motorcyclists are overrepresented in crashes and fatalities. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash, and 5 times more likely to be injured.
Motorists making left turns at intersections are one of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes, due to motorists’ difficulty judging the distance and speed of motorcycles.
A motorcyclist’s “braking” is not always obvious to motorists. Motorcycles decelerate faster than vehicles, so motorcyclists will often downshift instead of applying the brake, especially when driving around a curve. This means the brake lights will not be engaged to signal motorists of deceleration or an upcoming stop.
Drivers — please follow these safety tips to be more aware of motorcycles and to help keep all on our roadways safe:
- Slow down, assess your surroundings, and don’t rush when crossing intersections, entering the roadway from a parking lot or driveway, or turning left. Always give yourself enough time to thoroughly check for motorcyclists.
- When turning left, ensure there is enough time and space for the motorcyclist to clear the roadway before you initiate the left turn.
- Don’t follow motorcyclists too closely and allow sufficient braking cushion between your vehicle and the motorcycle in front of you to give your vehicle enough room to come to a complete stop without a collision. Remember, a motorcyclist’s brake lights might not always be engaged when a motorcycle decelerates.
- Always double-check your blind spots when changing lanes or starting to entering or exiting the roadways. Adjust your rear- and side-view mirrors and use them properly.
- If someone you know drives a motorcycle, tell him or her to always wear a helmet—even if the law doesn’t require it. According to NHTSA, an estimated 749 lives could have been saved in 2017 if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.
Sgt. Brian J. Griesser, West Goshen Township Police