Earlier this year, Governor Jared Polis declared May 2019 to be Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Colorado. It’s not hard to see why he chose this month in particular. May had the highest amount of motorcycle crashes in both 2017 and 2018, which were both the highest amount of accidents for their respective years.
So what is it about the fifth month that makes it so dangerous for motorcyclists? The “100 Deadliest Days of Driving” doesn’t begin until the end of the month, yet May has more crashes than the hottest and coldest months of the year for bikers. Both drivers and motorcyclists should know what safety precautions they have to take before taking their rides out on the road.
Dusting off the chopper
With how unpredictable winter weather can get in Colorado, May tends to be the guaranteed month where most motorcyclists go on their first rides. Experienced riders warn others to take it easy during their first couple of trips since they’ve had their bikes away for months. Once you’re ready for your first ride of the year, take a short route to get used to the feeling once more before you start cruising on the highway.
It isn’t just motorcyclists that have to worry about their own safety. Drivers are also not used to seeing bikers occupy the roads after they’ve been gone for months. They need to check their blind spots before stopping at intersections and give motorcyclists enough room in front of them in case they need to come to a sudden halt on the road.
Paying attention to potholes
Now that the snow is finally melting, you can see just how much damage they’ve done to the roads in the last six months. Colorado’s streets are arguably in their worst condition during the spring as most of them are just waiting to have construction crews close off lanes and put signs around the areas to fix the problem.
One bad pothole can send a motorcyclist flying. It isn’t like a car where only one-fourth of the vehicle suffers badly. Bikers do have the advantage of having more room on the roads to avoid visible potholes, but the disadvantage regular vehicles like cars have can also negatively affect motorcyclists. A driver might lean too much to the right or left when dodging street damage and could crash into the driver in the process.
More young drivers on the streets
May is also graduation and finals season, which means plenty of college and high school students are beginning their summer vacations early. Even though the “100 Deadliest Days” begins after Memorial Day, these motorists are still inexperienced enough where they can present a major threat to motorcyclists thanks to excessive speeding and distractions. Parents must help their kids prepare for bikers and other obstacles that don’t take up a lot of space on the road.
Even though more people will be aware of motorcycle accidents thanks to Motorcycle Safety Awareness month, that doesn’t guarantee the accident rate will significantly drop. As it is the most dangerous time of the year for bikers, you should consider what legal options you have at your disposal if you end up in a motorcycle accident.