Mich. Takes to Road with Motorcycle Safety; Three of Four Operators Will be Killed or Injured

May 3, 2005

During May, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is reminding all drivers to be on alert for motorcycles.

Considering that three out of four motorcycle operators involved in a crash will be killed or injured, Gov. Jennifer Granholm has designated May as Michigan’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

While crashes involving motorcycles account for less than 1 percent of all crashes in Michigan, the results for motorcycle operators can be severe. In 2004, there were 3,321 motorcycle crashes in Michigan. Statistics also show that alcohol use and excessive speed are the leading causes of these crashes.

“Spring is the time of year when motorcycles begin to appear in greater numbers throughout Michigan,” stated F/Lt. Thad Peterson of the MSP Traffic Services Section. “It’s important for motorcycle operators to see and be seen by wearing bright clothing and protective eyewear.”

Motorcycle operators should also do the following:

* Keep their headlights on at all times to increase the chances of being seen by other drivers.

* Wear protective clothing, including a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved crash helmet and protective eyewear.

* Practice defensive riding techniques to avoid or minimize the severity of a crash; don’t expect the other motorist will see you.

* Watch for animals in their path, especially at night.

All drivers can help reduce to crashes by paying close attention to the following:

* Watch for Motorcycles. Many drivers involved in a crash advise they never saw the motorcycle. Make sure one’s view of the road is unobstructed by removing items hanging from a rearview mirror.

* Motorcycles are smaller than cars, making it difficult to accurately determine the speed of a motorcycle. Always leave adequate room when entering the roadway upon the approach of a motorcycle.

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