PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association is issuing a special appeal to motorists to be aware of motorcycles during May, which is Motorcycle Awareness Month and marks the return of motorcyclists to the roadways throughout the country.
Drivers should doublecheck their mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes, maintain a safe distance when following motorcycles and pay particular attention when making left turns across traffic.
"Motorcycle Awareness Month also provides an excellent opportunity for us to educate the nonriding public about the safety issues that affect motorcyclists every time we leave our driveways," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "May typically is a time when riders in much of the country are getting their motorcycles out of the garage and onto the roads. By calling special attention to motorcyclists in the spring, we hope that motorists will stay alert to them throughout the rest of the year."
Motorcycle Awareness Month—launched by the AMA in the early 1980s and adopted by many state motorcycle-rights organizations, government entities and AMA-sanctioned clubs—is observed each May.
The AMA is tracking bills in state legislatures across the country that address the safety of motorcyclists, including the issue of distracted driving. Those bills range from prohibitions on minors using personal electronic devices, such as smart phones, to bans on the use of these devices by drivers of any age.
Distracted driving is dangerous for all road users, claiming 3,166 lives in 2017 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The AMA supports legislation that includes enhanced penalty options to be determined by the courts in cases where distracted driving results in a crash.
The official AMA position statements on distracted and inattentive vehicle operation can be found at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/About-The-AMA/distracted-and-inattentive-vehicle-operation-1.