With warmer temperatures and sunny skies around the corner, the number of motorcycles on the roadway grows.
The Washington State Patrol strongly suggests that motorists keep special watch for motorcycles. For example, when stopping at stop signs, check twice before proceeding.
“With the increased number of motorcyclists on the road comes the potential for more motorcycle collisions,” said WSP Captain Ken Ginnard.
The WSP recommends that riders watch for road construction, traffic congestion and surrounding vehicles. It’s a sentiment shared by Department of Licensing motorcycle safety technical specialist Tom Fite.
“Always be alert for sudden changes in traffic and keep a margin of safety around you,” Fite said.
Motorcycle collision data show that approximately 60-percent of motorcycle fatalities are single-vehicle incidents. The most common causes of these incidents are excessive speed, impaired driving and the inability to stay in the lane of travel.
“Whether it’s your first ride of the season or you ride frequently, be mentally prepared,” Fite said. “Challenge yourself to sharpen your riding skills. If you are aware of any bad riding habits you have, now is the time to make a decision to change.”
The DOL and WSP require that motorcyclists be properly trained, always ride with their headlights on and that they wear bright clothing and proper safety equipment, including a DOT-certified helmet. Riders must also have the proper motorcycle endorsement.