National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office wants to educate the public about safe driving, especially to protect motorcyclists.

The sheriff’s office said that every May, law enforcement throughout the country discusses the importance of motorcycle and vehicle safety.

With the weather getting warmer, motorcyclists will be out more often.

Remember that mowing grass clippings into the road is very dangerous to motorcyclists. It is makes the roadway slippery and can cause them to crash. Motorcycle Safety

It is also necessary that drivers keep a close eye out for motorcycles that may be nearby.

Last year in Tennessee, there were nearly 3,000 motorcycle accidents. Of those, 154 were fatal.

In Hamilton County alone, there were 196 motorcycle crashes last year, with four fatalities. This placed Hamilton County as number 11 in the state for motorcycle wrecks.

The HCSO adds that motorcycles should have the same amount of road room as normal cars do.

Additionally, do not assume a motorcycle is turning just because their turn signal is on. Many of these are non-cancelling signals, meaning they do not turn off on their own. Riders may forget at times to turn them off.

Check all mirrors and blind spots before turning, changing lanes or merging.

Allow for more distance when driving behind motorcycles as well. The HCSO recommends three to four seconds, to allow time for the motorcyclist to maneuver or stop if necessary.

And never drive distracted or impaired.

In addition, motorcyclists should take precautions, too.

These are some tips the HCSO gives for motorcycle-riding.

New riders should take a DOT approved training course, and all riders should wear a DOT-compliant helmet and protective gear.

As always, obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed. Use hand and turn signals. Wear brightly colored clothes and even reflective tape for increased visibility.

Ride in the middle of the lane, so drivers can better see you. And never drive distracted or impaired.

“As a former police motor officer, I understand the dangers and risks that can quickly affect both motorists and motorcyclists. All too often, we take for granted how fast an accident can occur,” Sheriff Austin Garret said. “If we are all vigilant and respectful to other drivers when we are on the roadway, we can all do our part to keep all of our roadways safe.”

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