“Watch for Motorcycles” as weather improves and temperatures rise

MoDOT is promoting National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month this May

The Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety would like to remind motorists to “Watch for Motorcycles” to prevent motorcycle crashes, deaths and injuries on Missouri roadways. 

May marks Motorcycle Awareness Month, and it comes at a great time since motorcycles have been mostly absent from area roadways since late fall. But as summer nears, more motorcycles will hit the open road. 

Motorcycle riders are at greater risk for injury compared to other vehicles. Preliminary data from 2022 states there were 151 motorcycle fatalities on Missouri roadways, which account for 14% of roadway fatalities for the year. 

Due to their smaller profile, motorcyclists are more susceptible to being hidden in a vehicle’s blind spots or simply being overlooked. Motorists can help improve the safety of motorcyclists by always paying attention and looking twice. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following tips to drivers on how to prevent a fatal crash with a motorcycle:

  • Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
  • Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.

Motorcyclists must also take precautions to remain safe on the road. 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 and trained.
  • 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.
  • Anticipate the moves of other drivers and be extra cautious of road conditions and debris.

Experts recommend riders also complete motorcycle training before getting out on the road. There are 31 training locations in Missouri. You can find these training locations as well as other key safety information from our partners at the Missouri Motorcycle Safety Program.