Motorcycle fatalities appear to be on the rise in North Carolina. In 2018 there were 170 motorcycle deaths in the state of North Carolina – up almost 21% from the 141 deaths in 2017, according to NCDOT. AAA Carolinas is urging motorists and riders to practice motorcycle safety and be more cautious when sharing the road.
“With the spring driving season just around the corner, we want to remind everyone to be extra vigilant as more motorcyclists hit the road, because even the most minor of bump-ups to a vehicle can be deadly to a motorcyclist as they are not surrounded by any protection,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson.
One of the most common reasons drivers give for cutting off or pulling out in front of a motorcycle is that they “didn’t see it.” Even the most skilled riders can find themselves in trouble if other drivers aren’t aware of them.
Car and truck drivers should follow these precautions to help motorcycle safety:
- Be extra cautious on weekends when motorcyclists take to the road.
- Never drive distracted or impaired. Put the phone down. Disconnect and Drive.
- Provide motorcyclists adequate room to maneuver. Follow at least five to six seconds behind them.
- Allow extra maneuvering room in areas with potholes, pavement transitions and railroad crossings. Motorcyclists may need to slow down, stop or adjust their lane position.
- Never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Motorcycles have the same right to lanes as any other vehicle.
- Always check your mirrors carefully before changing lanes. Motorcycles may be in your blind spots or difficult to see because of their smaller size.
Riders can prevent improve their motorcycle safety by:
- Keeping headlights, marker and taillights on at dusk and in dark or rainy weather.
- Stay at least five to six seconds behind a vehicle they intend to pass, checking oncoming traffic from the left side of the lane, signaling the intention to turn and then checking for oncoming traffic before passing.
- Never ride distracted or impaired.
- Checking their mirror and quickly turn their head to ensure the vehicle is a safe distance behind them when completing a pass.
- Wearing helmets that meet a high protection standard.
- Wearing proper protective clothing, eyewear and boots.
- Taking advance rider courses to further develop skills.
If you’re a motorcycle rider, AAA Insurance can help protect you and your bike. In fact, AAA Insurance can add your motorcycle to your auto policy, giving you valuable coverage sometimes not found on standalone policies.