Summer Riding for Motorcyclists can be Deadly

Motorcycle police
Photo copyright Walt Stoneburner https://www.flickr.com/photos/waltstoneburner/   http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (July 16, 2018) - Summer brings good weather and plenty of fun in the sun, ideal weather for motorcyclists. Unfortunately, this season can turn deadly for bikers and those around them. Almost 40 percent of fatalities involving motorcycles in 2016 and 2017 occurred during the summer months, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. This three month period represents a significant portion of fatalities for motorcyclist and those sharing the road with them. In addition, 29 percent of the fatalities involving motorcycles in 2018 so far have happened during June and July.  In many cases, the fatalities are caused by aggressive driving such as speeding and/or alcohol involvement.

Virginia’s Fatality Numbers as of July 16, 2018

 

Speeding

Alcohol related

Combination

2016

32

26

16

2017

50

34

21

2018

20

4

3

 

With summer only halfway over, AAA urges motorcyclists to be aware of the dangers of speed and alcohol especially while driving a motorcycle.

“Inconsiderate driving, bad traffic and the daily stresses of life can transform minor frustrations into dangerous road rage,” said Georjeane Blumling, Vice President of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “Drivers can lose themselves in the heat of the moment and lash out in ways that could turn deadly.”

A few tips to avoid road rage:

  • Manage your behavior, manage your responses. You may see other drivers doing things that are illegal, inconsiderate and even incomprehensible. Don’t take it personally. Most drivers are not thinking about their impact on you; they are just rushed, distracted or upset.

  • Follow the rules of the road. Maintain adequate following distance. Use turn signals. Allow others to merge. Use your high beams responsibly.

  • Remaining calm and courteous behind the wheel lowers your risk of an unpleasant encounter with another driver and with law enforcement.

  • Avoid eye contact with angry drivers. Don’t respond to aggression with aggression.

  • If you feel you are at risk, drive to a public place such as a police station, hospital or fire station.

  • When you park, allow room so you can pull out safely if someone approaches you aggressively.

  • Use your horn to attract attention but remain in your locked vehicle.

  • If you feel threatened, call 911.

 

Motorists can help to make the roads safer for motorcyclists by taking some simple precautions:

  • Be extra cautious on weekends, when more motorcyclists take to the road.

  • Provide motorcyclists adequate room to maneuver. Follow at least five to six seconds behind them.

  • Allow extra maneuvering room in areas with potholes, pavement transitions and railroad crossings. Motorcyclists may need to slow down, stop or adjust their lane position.

  • Never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Motorcycles have the same right to lanes as any other vehicle.

  • If a motorcycle is nearby, check your mirrors carefully before changing lanes. Motorcycles may be in your blind spots or difficult to see because of their smaller size.

As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia.