|This is a press release from the Mississippi Department of Transportation
JACKSON, Miss. - In an effort to help prevent motorcycle crashes, deaths and injuries on Mississippi roadways, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has joined other organizations in recognizing May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
Motorcyclists have all the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle driver on the roadway. During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May - and during the rest of the year - drivers of all other vehicles and all road users are reminded to safely "share the road" with motorcyclists, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe.
“In 2015, 4,976 motorcyclists were killed from crashes,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “The death rate increased from the prior year, so increasing awareness and commitment to safety are needed to help reach the ultimate goal of zero deaths on Mississippi highways.”
MDOT offersdrivers general tips of how to prevent a possible 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.
If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
Never drive distracted or impaired.
MDOT also offers tips for motorcyclists:
Wear a DOT- compliant helmet and other protective gear.
Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
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.
For other safe driving tips, including how to safely navigate a work zone, visit GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms. Follow the conversation online by following @MississippiDOT on social media and by using the hashtag #SharetheRoad.