NORTH COUNTRY, N.Y. (WWTI) — National Motorcycle Ride Day is taking place on Saturday, October 9. AAA is reminding both drivers and bikers how the day can be celebrated in a safe way.
According to a press release from AAA, the holiday weekend is a popular time of year for bikers to ride because of the fall foliage and warmer temperatures declining. The release said that motorcycles and scooters sales went up 11.4% in 2020 during the pandemic, according to a Retail Sales Report issued recently by the Motorcycle Industry Council.
Unfortunately, the company also stated that the number of motorcyclists killed in crashes reached 5,014 in 2019, an increase of 29 deaths from 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The research showed that motorcyclists were about 29 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were four times more likely to be injured in 2019.
To help motorists have a safe trip and combat these statistics AAA released several tips for both motorcyclists and drivers.
The company advises motorcyclists to check their tire pressure and tread depth before getting on a bike. The same goes for brakes, headlights, and signal indicators to make sure they can properly communicate with other vehicles. They also suggest motorists double-check their cargo to make sure it is secure and that their suspension is adjusted to accommodate for the extra weight.
AAA also reminds bikers to always wear a helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards, as well as other protective gear such as gloves, a jacket, and pants. To further ensure safe travels bikers should make themselves visible, keep their lights on, wear bright colors, and use reflective tape so other drivers notice them.
The company also pointed out several ways drivers can do their part to safely share the road. Drivers should check their mirrors and blind spots for motorcyclists before entering or leaving lanes of traffic and at intersections. AAA also advises drivers to always signal before changing lanes or merging with traffic while continuing to be aware of nearby motorcyclists.
Additionally, they suggest that drivers increase the distance between themselves and motorcycles to provide time to maneuver or stop in case of an emergency. They advised drivers to never share a lane with a motorcycle as they have the same right to lanes as any other vehicle.