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Motorcyclists & Drivers of Four Wheel Vehicles Urged to Watch Out for Each Other

5/3/2013

May 3, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

With the warm weather driving season upon us, Metro police officers urge motorcyclists and drivers of four-wheel vehicles to be keenly aware of and watch out for each other on the roadways.
          
Twenty-two percent of Nashville’s traffic fatalities last year (15 of 67) involved motorcycle crashes.  There have been three motorcycle crash fatalities already this year.
          
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation provides these tips and general guidelines for riding a motorcycle safely:

Be visible:

  • Remember that motorists often have trouble seeing motorcycles and reacting in time.
  • Make sure your headlight works and is on day and night.
  • Use reflective strips or decals on your clothing and on your motorcycle.
  • Be aware of the blind spots cars and trucks have.
  • Flash your brake light when you are slowing down and before stopping.
  • If a motorist doesn’t see you, don’t be afraid to use your horn.

Dress for safety:
  • Wear a quality helmet and eye protection.
  • Wear bright clothing and a light-colored helmet.
  • Wear leather or other thick, protective clothing.
  • Choose long sleeves and pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.
  • Remember – the only thing between you and the road is your protective gear.

Apply effective mental strategies:
  • Constantly search the road for changing conditions to increase time and space safety margins.
  • Give yourself space and time to respond to other motorists’ actions.
  • Give other motorists time and space to respond to you.
  • Use lane positioning to be seen; ride in the part of a lane where you are most visible.
  • Watch for turning vehicles.
  • Signal your next move in advance.
  • Avoid weaving between lanes.
  • Pretend you’re invisible, and ride extra defensively.
  • Don't ride when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Know and follow the rules of the road, and stick to the speed limit.
Know your bike and how to use it:
  • Practice. Develop your riding techniques before going into heavy traffic. Know how to handle your bike in conditions such as wet or sandy roads, high winds, and uneven surfaces.

Remember: Give yourself space. People driving cars often just don’t see motorcycles. Even when drivers do see you, chances are they’ve never been on a motorcycle and can’t properly judge your speed.

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