The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is recognizing May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in an effort to highlight the importance of improving safety and reducing motorcycle crashes. Due to Florida’s exceptional weather and roadways, many Floridians enjoy motorcycles as a means of transportation. While safety is the number one priority for FDOT throughout the year, during May, the Department is placing an additional focus on this important issue to encourage all road users to share the road and watch for motorcycles.
“We are committed to creating a safe environment for all road users,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault. “It takes everyone working together to create a positive roadway experience. When all users share the road safely, we create a better Florida.”
To help prevent crashes and promote lifelong training among Florida riders, FDOT has partnered with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and several motorcycle training providers in high crash areas to offer experienced rider courses at a reduced cost throughout the month of May. FDOT will pay $75 toward an experienced rider motorcycle course at the following training sites: Brandon Harley Davidson, Jacksonville Motorcycle Safety Training, Adventure Rider Training, Bert’s Harley Davidson and Motorcycle Training Institute Inc. Please visit ridesmartflorida.com for more details.
“Whether you operate a vehicle or motorcycle, take responsibility for your role on the road,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Drivers should always look twice, use caution when changing lanes and give others plenty of space. We all share Florida’s roadways, so always look out for one another to Arrive Alive.”
But reducing the number of motorcycle-involved crashes goes beyond training and prevention on the part of the motorcyclist. Vehicle drivers should also focus on driving and be more responsible by driving undistracted, unimpaired and with awareness and respect for all road users.
We are asking motorcyclists to ride S-M-A-R-T and motorists to share the road by using these simple tips.
Tips for motorcyclists:
- Say no to drinking and riding. (30% of motorcycle fatalities involved a rider that’s drunk)
- Make yourself more visible to motorists. (Wear bright colors or add lights)
- Always wear your gear, including a DOT-compliant helmet.
- Ride in control. (Many single motorcycle crashes occur due to a rider riding off of the roadway, such as riding too fast for a curve)
- Train regularly and get endorsed. (Keep up your skills is an important role in crash avoidance)
Tips for drivers:
- Always look for motorcycles. If you don’t look for motorcycles, you can’t see motorcycles.
- Check for motorcycles at intersections; if you see one approaching, let them pass before you turn. (Motorcycles may look like they are traveling slower than they are)
- Check your mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic
- Do not tailgate; allow more following distance when following a motorcycle. (Motorcycles do not always use their brakes to slow down; sometimes they down shift, therefore brake lights are not on.)
- Don’t drive distracted.
- Always drive sober.