The month of May is Motorcycle Awareness Month -- one of the most important months of the year for the safety of all road users and especially motorcyclists, according to the American Motorcyclist Association.
The AMA is the largest motorcycling rights and event-sanctioning organization in North America.
"Motorcycle Awareness Month serves as a seasonal reminder to all road users to look around, check their mirrors and consciously look for motorcycles," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "Motorcyclists are now getting out on the road in greater numbers across the nation, and it's vital that road users watch for them to avoid crashes.
"Unfortunately, many drivers aren't always mindful of other road users, and an annual reminder is helpful for them to recognize the flow of motorcycles in traffic," Dingman said. "By consciously looking for motorcycles in May, we hope this will grow into a habit that will last the rest of the year, and longer."
AMA board member and actor, Perry King, is featured in a public service announcement campaign produced by the AMA called "Think. Ride. Watch for Motorcycles." Video and audio messages can be downloaded at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/Resources/PublicServiceAnnouncements.aspx
"One of the leading causes of motorcycle crashes is the fact that drivers don't see motorcycles," Dingman said. "Drivers tell themselves to watch for cars, trucks, buses and pedestrians, but they don't always tell themselves to look for motorcycles. We want to change that."
Drivers can avoid crashes with motorcyclists by taking extra care and looking twice to spot motorcycles in traffic -- especially at intersections -- respecting the motorcyclists' space on the road and by not following too closely.
The AMA recognizes that distracted or inattentive driving has become a major concern for all road users. Far too many cases have been documented of motorcyclists being injured or killed as the result of other vehicle operators being distracted or inattentive.
The AMA also strongly encourages motorcyclists to wear appropriate safety gear and practice safe riding techniques.
The AMA has long advocated that local and state governments maintain or increase funding for motorcycle rider education and motorist awareness programs -- two highly effective strategies to reduce the likelihood of motorcycle crashes.
To view AMA position statements on distracted and inattentive vehicle operation and rider education, as well as other subjects, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/positionstatements