MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) – May marks the beginning of Motorcycle Safety Month, and Connecticut State Troopers have some tips to help keep riders safe.
Riding a motorcycle safely and properly is a skill that can only be learned through practice, according to state troopers and in the state of Connecticut a license is required.
State police say they recommend all riders to obtain motorcycle training through a quality course and to take refresher rider courses regularly.
Before getting on a motorcycle, riders should consider what safety equipment they will need, troopers say.
According to police, riders should wear a helmet manufactured to standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Connecticut law also requires riders wear eye protection, so motorcyclists should consider a helmet with a shield, goggles, or shatter proof eyeglasses.
They also encourage wearing leather pants, gloves, boots and a jacket, even on warm days offer protection in case of a fall and also recommend wearing reflective clothing since it is often difficult for other motorists to spot motorcyclists on the roads.
Troopers say they want to remind motorcyclists to use extra caution and awareness at intersections, where most motorcycle vs. vehicle crashes occur and also to never drive in an operator’s blind spot.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) about 5,000 motorcycle operators and hundreds of motorcycle passengers lose their lives in accidents each year in the U.S. These numbers account for about 13 percent of total traffic fatalities, even though motorcycles account for just three percent of all registered vehicles. In addition to the fatalities, about 100,000 operators and passengers are injured each year.
State Troopers say they also want to remind motor vehicle operators that they too have a role in motorcycle safety; they can help to make the roads safer for motorcyclists by taking some simple precautions such as being extra cautious on weekends, providing motorcyclists adequate room to maneuver, and leaving a reasonable following distance when following a motorcyclist.