Wednesday July 24th, 2024 2:13PM

DDS urges all motorists to share the road for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

By Joy Holmes Multimedia Journalist

The Department of Drivers Services reminded all motorists and riders about safe driving practices through its Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program initiative for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, according to officials. 

The Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program is a year-round effort to promote motorcycle safety among motorcyclist and other drivers who must share the road, according to Motorcycle Safety Program Coordinator Holly Hegyesi with the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program.

“This is a statewide program wherein we train riders of all skill levels to be the safest and most successful riders they can be,” Hegyesi said. “We’re also responsible for certifying and maintaining quality assurance for the rider coaches who are certified to teach those students in the state of Georgia.”

The Motorcycle Safety Program uses the month of May to bring awareness to motorcycle safety because as weather temperatures increase, so will the number of motorcyclists on the roadway, Hegyesi said.

“We encourage riders to get out there and ride, enjoy the ride and be safe while they’re doing it,” she said.

Motorcyclists are significantly overrepresented in traffic crashes and fatalities and are nearly 28 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash per mile travelled than occupants of a passenger vehicle, according to the Department of Drivers Services. The smallest momentary lapse in a driver’s awareness could result in the death of an unseen motorists, officials said.

“We [motorcyclists] are smaller and more difficult to see than other motorists,” Hegyesi said.  “We’re more vulnerable because we don’t have four walls, iron, metal or various car parts to protect us.”

The DDS reported more than 2,300 drivers involved in fatal vehicle accidents in 2020 and 192 of those killed were motorcyclists. Drivers and riders should take safety measures seriously and the number of fatalities and injuries could be reduced, officials said.

“Intersections are frequently where we will encounter issues or interactions unplanned with other motorists. Sadly, a lot of crashes are a violation of the motorcyclist’s right of way simply due to lack of conspicuity of that rider,” Hegyesi said.

Motorists should maintain a greater distance when following behind a motorcycle, as riders typically take more time to come to a stop. Drivers should always be on high alert but should be extra cautious at intersections, curved roads and remember to frequently check mirrors and blind spots while driving, she said.

Motorcyclists should also keep roadway safety at the forefront of the mind by keeping an eye on roadway and weather conditions. Riders should also wear proper gear to ensure adequate protection between them and the roadway if an accident were to occur. Equipment should be bright in color and reflective, Hegyesi said.  

“We recommend wearing full face helmets every time a rider decides to go for a ride. All the gear, all the time. We preach no skin below the chin to protect all that is precious and to get home safely to ride another day,” she said.

To learn more about the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program, training classes and its share the road campaigns, visit its website.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: motorcycle, department of driver services, DDS, Motorcycle safety
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