Awareness Stressed as Motorcycle Ridership Increases

Phoenix, Ariz. May 1, 2012. This month, AAA Arizona is joining The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for a nationwide initiative that urges all road users to “share the road”—Motorcycle Awareness Month.


In recent years, factors such as high gas prices have increased motorcycle ridership across the country, including Arizona. In fact, the number of motorcycles registered in Arizona increased nearly 12 percent from 2007 to 2010, according to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division. However, crashes involving motorcycles across the state fell by more than 23 percent over this timeframe. 


“While AAA is pleased to see a decline in Arizona motorcycle crashes in recent years, the boom our state is experiencing in ridership, coupled with recent tragedies on our roadways, underscores the need for awareness,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona.


Despite only comprising 3 percent of registered vehicles in Arizona, riders are among the most vulnerable of all road users. In fact, according to NHTSA, motorcyclists are about 39 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in traffic crashes per vehicle mile traveled.


In honor of Motorcycle Awareness Month, AAA’s traffic safety experts would like to offer the following tips for drivers and riders:


 DRIVERS: 

  • Avoid distractions. Deterring your attention from the road puts all road users at risk.
  • Be alert. The majority of motorcycle crashes are caused by motorists who fail to notice riders, who can easily become hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. 
  • Communicate. Signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging to help riders anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.
  • Understand maneuvers. A rider may suddenly change speed or adjust their position within a lane in response to conditions such as potholes, debris or change in road surface.  
  • Share the road. Although it may seem as though there is enough room in the traffic lane for vehicle and a motorcycle, a motorcycle needs the same room as a vehicle to maneuver safely. 

RIDERS:

  • Avoid distractions. Deterring your attention from the road puts all road users at risk.
  • Maintain training. Beginning and experienced riders alike can benefit from motorcycle training courses to improve skills and practice real world situations. 
  • Wear visible, protective gear, including brightly-colored protective clothing and a helmet that meets safety standards.  
  • Adhere to traffic laws, including obtaining a motorcycle license or endorsement from the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division.
  • Ride safe. Never ride when tired or impaired. In addition, avoid riding in poor weather conditions, if possible. 
  • Understand your coverage. Because motorcycle crashes commonly result in injury, riders should ensure they have an adequate insurance policy that covers guest passenger bodily injury, medical payments as well as uninsured and underinsured motorists. Modified bike parts and accessories may also require additional coverage.

AAA provides insurance coverage and membership for motorcycle owners. AAA Plus® Motorcycle Membership extends AAA Plus emergency road services to include household motorcycles.  Membership provides all of the benefits of Plus membership with roadside assistance coverage as a rider, driver, or passenger of any motorcycle or automobile. 


AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.