N E W S R E L E A S E
May 8, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sgt. William T. McMichael
James City County Police participate in Share the Road Campaign
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month and James City County Police remind motorists and motorcyclists to “share the road” in order to help prevent motorcycle crashes, injuries and deaths.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), statistics show an alarming trend: in 2012, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes, a continued increase from 2010. Those deaths account for 15 percent of the total highway fatalities that year. Injured motorcyclists also increased from 81,000 in 2011 to 93,000 in 2012.
Helmet usage is also on the decline, dropping from 66 percent of motorcyclists wearing helmets in 2011 to only 60 percent in 2012. The decrease was most significant among motorcycle passengers, decreasing from 64 percent in 2011 to 46 percent in 2012. NHTSA estimates that 1,617 lives were saved in 2011 because of proper helmet usage, but another 701 lives could have been saved if helmets had been worn.
Motorists and motorcyclists share the responsibility to keep roadways safe. By following road signs, obeying speed limits and staying focused on the road, deaths and injuries could be prevented.
Motorists can help prevent a fatal crash with a motorcycle by:
- Allowing the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times. While a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has the same rights of the road as any other motorist.
- Signaling when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Checking all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
- Adding three to four extra seconds to following distance when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
- Never driving distracted or impaired.
Motorcyclists can increase their safety by:
- Wearing a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
- Obeying all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
- Using hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
- Wearing brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
- Riding in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
- Never riding distracted or impaired.
For more information on motorcycle safety, visit www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles.