AMES, Iowa – April 30, 2013 – On recognition of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Iowa DOT reminds motorists and motorcyclists alike to “share the road” conscientiously and courteously to help prevent motorcycle crashes, which with 56 deaths in 2012, remains one of the most prevalent causes of death and injury on Iowa highways.
The safety campaign, initiated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, state and local safety officials nationwide, and motorcycle safety groups everywhere, stresses the mutual responsibilities shared by all users of the road to prevent motorcycle crashes.
Toni Kerkove, Iowa DOT motorcycle rider education administrator, said, “Safety is a mutual responsibility for motorists and motorcyclists alike. Motorcyclists are about 30 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger vehicle occupants. So whether you are driving the family sedan, an SUV, a school bus, a delivery van or an 18-wheeler, drivers should always be on the lookout for motorcyclists. Drivers must be aware that a motorcycle, as one of the smallest vehicles on the road, can be ‘hiding’ in your vehicle’s blind spots. Always check blind spots, use mirrors and signal before changing lanes or making turns.”
Kerkove added, “Motorcyclists have responsibilities too. Riders should obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed, alert to other drivers, conspicuous at all times, never ride impaired or distracted, and always wear a U.S. DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.”
This safety advice is particularly timely as motorcycle fatalities in 2011 showed a continued increase to 4,612 nationally. Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 14 percent of total highway deaths for the year despite motorcycle registrations representing only about 3 percent of all vehicles in the United States. Kerkove offered the following tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways.
Kerkove said motorcyclists can increase their safety by:
“Our message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: Help to share in the responsibility of keeping all road users safe, and do your part by safely sharing the road,” Kerkove concluded.
For additional information on motorcycle safety, go to http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles.
Contact: Toni Kerkove at 641-423-1675 or firstname.lastname@example.org