Sheriff aims to increase motorcycle safety awareness for all road users

Sheriff Allen Riley

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office reminds motorists and motorcyclists alike during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to “share the road” in order to help prevent motorcycle crashes, deaths and injuries on Madison County roads.

“Motorcyclists will be out in force as the weather gets warmer, which is why May is the perfect month for

Motorcycle Safety Awareness,” said Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley. “Across our nation, serious and fatal crashes with motorcycles are on the rise, and helmet usage is on the decline. We all need to be more aware of motorcyclists in order to save lives.”

Wearing a helmet is an important way for a motorcyclist to stay safe, but we all play a part.

“It’s up to all motorists and motorcyclists to make our roads safer,” Riley said. “All road users need to share the responsibility of keeping the roadways safe. By following road signs, obeying speed limits, and always staying focused on the road, deaths could be prevented.”

Sheriff Riley offered tips to drivers on how to prevent a crash 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 must also take precautions to remain safe on the road,” Riley said.

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.

“By following basic safety rules, we can all help prevent crashes,” Riley said. “Our message is for all drivers and riders: Share the responsibility of keeping our roads safe—always share the road.”

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