What You Should Know About Massachusetts Motorcycle Safety
This weekend, many of us will be hitting the road, and I can almost guarantee you will see motorcycles on I-195 on your way to the Cape, cruising down Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford or anywhere else you go.
Even though we're nearing the end of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, it seems like a good idea to remember it as we head toward Memorial Day and warmer weather.
In 2021, more motorcyclists were killed in Massachusetts than any other year on record, according to the state Department of Transportation. Many of those were due to single-car collisions with motorcyclists.
"Roadway fatalities in Massachusetts and nationwide have been rising since the pandemic began," the department said in a news release. "Motorcyclists face an increased risk of severe injury and death when crashes occur."
I recall when I was just 10 years old, I watched a neighbor of mine get hit by a car while riding my father's Harley. He has since been disabled and unable to walk without an assistive device.
The biggest thing to consider while you are driving around this holiday weekend is to be extra observant. Motorcycles are smaller and sometimes harder to see. Stay focused and don't get distracted, especially by your cell phones.
The state created a YouTube channel that has some really good informational videos on how to practice being a safe driver, especially around motorcyclists. These videos also touch on how some motorcyclists ride as if they're invincible and just how dangerous some of their aggressive maneuvers can be for both themselves and everyone else.
"The 'At Home' motorcycle safety campaign aims to remind motorcyclists and vehicle drivers to drive and ride with caution," the state said in its release. "Non-motorcycle drivers are advised to scan the entire road ahead, stay focused on driving and not be distracted, and especially when turning or changing lanes, be mindful of motorcyclists and always look twice."
Whatever you may be doing this long weekend, practice being an attentive driver and be sure to respect those with whom you share the road.