The following press release is from the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA):
PICKERINGTON, Ohio—The American Motorcyclist Association reminds motorists throughout the nation that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
“For almost 40 years, the AMA has promoted motorcycle awareness in May because, as the weather warms in large parts of the country, riders take to the road in increasing numbers to enjoy the thrill of riding,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen the roads become more dangerous for all users,” Dingman added. “That is why it is incredibly important for drivers to remain attentive and alert to the presence of motorcycles on city, urban and rural streets and highways.”
The AMA urges motorists to be steadfast in their awareness of conditions around them, maintain a safe distance when following motorcycles, check their mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes, and pay particular attention when making left turns across traffic.
“The safety of motorcyclists is the AMA’s top priority and, increasingly, distracted driving and over-reliance on driver-assistance technology are worrisome. That, combined with rising fatality statistics for road users across the board, is creating an unsettling trend that requires extra vigilance while driving,” Dingman said.
Each year, the AMA tracks bills in state legislatures across the country that address the issue of distracted driving. Examples of activities that take the driver's focus off driving include talking or texting, eating and drinking, and adjusting entertainment or navigation system controls, etc.
Driver-assistance technologies are appearing on many new cars and SUVs, including adaptive cruise control, automated braking and lane-keeping assist. While these technologies promise to reduce crashes, they are still in their infancy and drivers must not rely on these systems.
The AMA is also pleased to see lane-filtering legislation gaining traction in parts of the country as a commonsense safety measure to protect motorcyclists. Lane filtering reduces the chance of motorcyclists being rear-ended by allowing them to filter through congested traffic at safe speeds. Utah recently extended its lane filtering legislation for an additional five years, while Arizona passed legislation to legalize lane filtering that will go into effect this fall.
“Getting lane-filtering legislation passed starts at the grass roots level,” said AMA On-Highway Government Relations Manager Tiffany Cipoletti. “We are seeing more elected officials warming up to lane filtering and we are eager to help more motorcyclists engage their state legislatures on this issue.”
Launched by the AMA in the early 1980s, Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and its message have been adopted by many AMA-sanctioned clubs, state motorcycle-rights organizations, the motorcycle industry and government entities.
Stay tuned to AmericanMotorcyclist.com and the AMA’s social media channels throughout the month of May for more information and tips surrounding motorcycle safety and awareness.
Main image courtesy of AMA, by Kevin Wing