Motorcycle Awareness Month
The Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence Association, (PA DUI Assn.) is reminding drivers and riders the month of May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month nationwide. Due to Pennsylvania's northern climate, motorcycles tend to be more seasonal and are not as prevalent on the roadway during winter months.
All motorists are reminded to exercise additional caution as the advent of warmer weather leads to greater numbers of motorcycles on the highways, streets and traffic ways of Pennsylvania. After a long, hard winter, motorists must once again acclimate to the presence of motorcycles, checking carefully for them before pulling out into traffic, making lane changes or executing other driving maneuvers.
Motorcycle operators are also urged to exercise caution while riding. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,286 motorcyclists died nationwide as a result of crashes in 2016. In 2017, there were 3,188 crashes involving motorcycles within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Of those crashes, 185 resulted in fatalities - 46 of those fatalities involved alcohol impaired operators, according PENNDOT statistic's from the PA crash information website.
The PA DUI Association's director, Stephen Erni, stated, "This has been a long winter for Pennsylvanian's everywhere; many of us are looking forward to sunny, warmer days but don't start the summer off with a tragedy that could alter the rest of your life or end it." Always remember as a driver or rider you are sharing the road, be alert, be responsible and never drive or ride impaired."
Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely to suffer a fatal crash than operators of other vehicles. Of the motorcyclists killed in 2016, 37% were found to be impaired by alcohol; in fact, motorcyclists had the highest percentage of fatal crashes per vehicle mile traveled involving impaired operators as compared to operators of other types of vehicles.
The PA DUI Association reminds all motorists that highway safety is everybody's responsibility and that driving impaired is never acceptable. Impairment can be caused by many different substances, not just alcohol - impairment is impairment. Police are trained to recognize impairment and will be out during the warmer weather enforcing highway safety and removing impaired drivers or riders from our highways.