Allen drivers are encouraged to use extra caution this month as more motorcycles hit the roads. The City ushered in Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month with a city proclamation, urging riders to wear protective equipment and exercise good judgment. Mayor Stephen Terrell also reminded drivers to be vigilant as they share the road to reduce the occurrence of injuries and fatalities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers the following tips for drivers to help avoid crashes with a motorcycle:
• Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the road as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
• Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
• If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
• Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
• Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
• Never drive distracted or impaired.
Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these steps:
• Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
• Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
• Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
• Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
• Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
• Never ride distracted or impaired.