2012-05-25 / Community

DMV Asks Motorcyclists To Stay Safe

There are more than 655,000 licensed motorcyclists and more than 340,000 registered motorcycles in New York State.

In the past ten years alone, motorcycle licenses have increased by 28 percent and registrations by 76 percent. New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Chair Barbara J. Fiala recently reminded motorists to watch for motorcyclists and stressed the importance of motorcycle safety as more bikes take to the roads as summer begins.

“With the summer months approaching we will be seeing more motorcycles take to our roadways,” said Fiala. “We want to make sure motorcyclists are using proper safety precautions and remind motorists to watch for them and share the road.”

In 2010, there were more than 5,500 motorcycle crashes in New York State, resulting in more than 5,400 injuries and 185 fatalities. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research shows that per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 39 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in traffic crashes.

New motorcycle licenses for March 2012 were up 53 percent from March 2011. Registrations were up eight percent and license renewals were up six percent in March 2012 versus March 2011.

The following are some tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways. Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width — never try to share a lane. Perform a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or exiting a lane of traffic, and at intersections. Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. Allow more following distance – three or four seconds – when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. Never tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars. Never drive while distracted. Motorcyclists can increase their safety by: Avoiding riding in poor weather conditions; Wearing brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet; Using turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it; Combining hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves; Using reflective tape and stickers to increase conspicuity; Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers; and More information can be found by visiting the DMV’s web site at www.dmv.ny.gov.

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