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‘Safety on Two Wheels’

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Article Published: May. 9, 2013 | Modified: May. 9, 2013
‘Safety on Two Wheels’

“Safety on Two Wheels” is the theme for the month of May, during which two different two-wheeled forms of transportation — the bicycle and the motorcycle — are taking center stage.

May is officially known as both “National Bike Month” and “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.”

“As the weather gets warmer, it’s the perfect time to remember the importance of safety, whether on a bicycle or a motorcycle,” N.C. Transportation Secretary Tony Tata said.

According to NCDOT, there are more than 194,000 motorcycles registered in North Carolina. In 2012, there were 4,157 motorcycle crashes that resulted in 162 fatalities and 3,970 injuries.

Each year, more than 900 bicyclists are injured or killed by cars on North Carolina streets, NCDOT reported.

NCDOT offers the following important safety tips to bicyclists, motorcyclists and other drivers:

— Bicycles and Motorcycles: Always wear a helmet. The law in North Carolina requires children younger than 16 on bicycles to wear a helmet, and it also requires motorcyclists of all ages to wear a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218 helmet. Be visible at all times. This includes wearing bright or reflective clothing.

— Other drivers: Share the road. Bicyclists are considered vehicles in North Carolina and therefore have the same rights and responsibilities as cars and trucks, and motorcyclists have the right to a full lane.

— Stay alert. Be aware that bicycles and motorcycles can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spot. Therefore, take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic when changing lanes.

— Keep a safe distance. Allow plenty of room for passing bicyclists and plenty of following distance behind motorcycles.

— Be cautious. Be aware that turn signals on a motorcycle are not self-canceling, thus some riders sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change.

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