Here in Miami, motorcycle enthusiasts enjoy riding their two-wheelers year round in the sunshine and tropical weather. May is designated as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, making this the perfect time to remind riders to increase their highway visibility to others.
Some serious or even fatal accidents occur simply because auto and truck drivers simply never saw the motorcyclist approaching. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cites statistics from 2011 that indicate motorcycles make up only 3 percent of all of the vehicles that are registered in the United States. However, 14 percent of the total traffic deaths in that year involved motorcyclists.
Estimates by the NHTSA of the accidents rates based on the vehicular miles traveled show that those riding motorcycles are 30 times as likely to be killed in a collision than those in cars. Their injury rate is five times higher as well.
In 2012, the Governors Highway Safety Association estimated an increase of 9 percent in the number of deaths due to motorcycle wrecks, for a total of 5,027. Certainly many of those fatalities could have been avoided had other drivers on the road been more aware of safety concerns.
One way to improve motorcyclists’ safety on the highways and byways of the Sunshine State is to implement the SEE System to increase visibility on the road.
The acronym SEE represents “Search, Evaluate and Execute.” These three components form the basis of a safer riding experience for all.
— Search. Riders should always be visually scanning the road ahead, seeking out potential hazards in order to be able to avoid them. It’s important to pay attention to what’s going on in the blind spots by physically turning the head periodically in directions.
— Evaluate. The recommendation of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation is to “get the best results, [by] predict[ing] the worst possible outcome.” They are not advocating paranoia, but anticipation and preparation.
— Execute. When a risk has been identified and evaluated, a rider will usually only have a split second to take the best action to avert disaster.
By utilizing SEE, riders decrease the possibility of accidents and the necessity of filing an insurance claim or litigation to receive compensation from at-fault drivers.
Source: Motorcycle.com, “May Is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month,” accessed May. 20, 2015