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May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, so it's important to talk about the things everyone can do to keep motorcyclists safer on the roads. These people ride vehicles that have little protection against the elements and other vehicles, so it's of the utmost importance for everyone to be aware of them and how to prevent crashes.

In 2016, 4,976 motorcyclists and their passengers were killed in crashes. Around 88,000 people suffered nonfatal injuries in the same year. Between 2006 and 2016, the number of fatalities among riders and passengers grew by around 3 percent.

Motorcyclists make up around 13 percent of all traffic fatalities, as of the 2016 data. Around 91 percent of those killed in those crashes were male, while only around 26 percent were intoxicated.

The problem in America is that the majority of vehicles on the roads today are not motorcycles. This creates a kind of traffic hazard that is unavoidable for motorcyclists; they're small, hard to see and not as common to look for. Drivers don't always anticipate the way a motorcyclist moves, and motorcyclists easily fall into vehicular blind spots.

Around 36 percent of those killed in motorcycle crashes in 2016 were over the age of 50. It's believed that many of these people were riders in the past but decided to become riders again as they aged. The problem with this is a growth in distractions on the roads in today's world combined with more powerful motorcycles and diminished physical skills as you age.

Motorcycle accidents happen for a number of reasons, but by being safe and knowing your limits, watching out for motorcyclists and being aware, you can prevent them.

Source: National Safety Council, "Motorcycle Safety is a Two-way Street," accessed May 18, 2018

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