HARRISBURG — With temperatures rising and more motorcycles traveling on Pennsylvania roads, PennDOT is urging motorists to share the road and watch out for motorcycles throughout the riding season.
“I urge all motorists to use common sense, obey the law and keep their attention solely on the task of driving,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said in a press release.
“Our message to all drivers and motorcyclists is to share in the responsibility of keeping all road users safe, and do your part by safely sharing the road.”
To help avoid crashes with motorcycles, drivers should treat motorcycles as full-size vehicles with the same privileges as motorists. Motorcycles should be allowed a full-lane width — never try to share a lane — and provided with extra space since motorcycles can stop faster than automobiles. Motorists should also signal their intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic, and be especially watchful for approaching motorcycles. Motorists are cautioned that because of motorcycles’ size, they can be hidden by larger vehicles or be difficult to see.
Drivers should also remember that road and weather conditions that are typically minor annoyances to drivers can pose major hazards to motorcyclists.
Motorcyclists should wear appropriate, brightly colored protective gear, using stickers or reflective tape to increase visibility; use turn signals combined with hand signals for every turn or lane change; and position themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers and never ride while impaired.
PennDOT data shows that nearly 4,000 crashes involving motorcycles occurred on Pennsylvania roads in 2012, resulting in 210 motorcyclist fatalities. The number of registered motorcycles in Pennsylvania increased in 2012 by more than 5,500, while the number of licensed motorcyclists increased by more than 8,000.
Additional safety tips for motorists sharing the road with motorcycles are available on PennDOT’s website, www.DriveSafePA.org, under the Traffic Safety Information Center.
Motorcyclists can find information on safety and training by visiting PennDOT’s interactive motorcycle website, www.LiveFreeRideAlive.com.