So far this year, six motorcyclists have died in crashes in North Dakota. All six victims were not wearing a helmet and one crash involved alcohol. From the beginning of the year to date, data shows this has been a year with the highest number of motorcycle fatalities since 2010.
May is Motorcycle Awareness Month and the North Dakota Highway Patrol and North Dakota Department of Transportation are urging motorists to look twice for motorcycles and for motorcyclists to obey all traffic laws and wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective riding gear.
"On average, the highest motorcycle fatality months in North Dakota are August and September," said Colonel Michael Gerhart. "We want all motorists to arrive at their destination safely. Drivers and riders should follow traffic laws, be alert, and always be sober."
Tips for drivers to prevent a crash with a motorcycle:
• Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle, about three to four seconds.
• Be especially cautious when entering an intersection, changing lanes or maneuvering to pass.
• Do not share a lane with a motorcycle. Motorcycles have the same right-of-way as any other vehicle, including the full lane width.
• Never drive distracted or impaired.
Motorcyclists can increase their safety on the roads by:
• Obeying all traffic laws and being properly licensed.
• Making themselves visible to other motorists.
• Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
• Never riding distracted or impaired.
• Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
Learn more about motorcycle safety at ndcodefortheroad.org.