In The Know with Gino: Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Reminds Us of Safety Tips for National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

MotorcycleGraphic Courtesy of Hamilton County’s Sheriff’s Office

Hamilton County, TN – As May kicks off National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is urging motorists and motorcyclists to prioritize safety on the roads. With last year’s record of 196 motorcycle crashes in Hamilton County, ranking 11th in the state, the office wants to ensure that both drivers and motorcyclists are aware of the necessary precautions to prevent fatal accidents.

Tips for Motorists:

Recognizing that vehicle drivers control larger machines and can have a significant impact on motorcyclists’ safety, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office emphasizes the following guidelines to avoid fatal crashes:

  1. Respect a motorcycle’s space: Although motorcycles are smaller vehicles, their operators possess the same rights on the road as any other motorist. Allow motorcycles the full width of a lane at all times.
  2. Use turn signals: Always utilize turn signals when changing lanes or merging with traffic to ensure motorcyclists are aware of your intentions.
  3. Be cautious of motorcycle signals: Motorcycle signals often do not cancel automatically, so if you see a motorcycle with its signal on, verify the rider’s intent before proceeding.
  4. Check mirrors and blind spots: Before changing lanes or merging with traffic, thoroughly check all mirrors and blind spots, paying extra attention to the presence of motorcycles, especially at intersections.
  5. Increase follow distance: Allow a larger follow distance of three to four seconds when behind a motorcycle, providing them with more time to react and maneuver in emergencies.
  6. Avoid distractions and impairment: Never drive while distracted or impaired, ensuring full attention is given to the road and potential hazards.

Tips for Motorcyclists:

While motorists play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of motorcyclists, riders must also take proactive measures to protect themselves from drivers who may overlook their presence. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office recommends the following safety tips for motorcyclists:

  1. Enroll in a training course: New riders should always take a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved training course to acquire essential riding skills and knowledge.
  2. Wear appropriate gear: Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear to reduce the risk of serious injury in the event of an accident.
  3. Observe traffic laws: Respect all traffic laws and ensure that you have a valid motorcycle license.
  4. Use signals effectively: Use hand signals and turn signals for every lane change or turn, providing clear communication to other drivers.
  5. Increase visibility: Wear brightly colored clothes and apply reflective tape to your motorcycle to enhance visibility, especially during low-light conditions.
  6. Optimal lane positioning: Ride in the middle of the lane to maximize visibility to other drivers.
  7. Stay focused and sober: Never ride while distracted or impaired, ensuring that your full attention is on the road and potential hazards.

By promoting these safety tips and fostering a culture of awareness, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office aims to reduce motorcycle accidents and ensure the safety of all road users during National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

Let us all commit to responsible and attentive driving, creating a safer environment for everyone on the road.

SOURCE: Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office