With warm spring weather here, many motorcycle enthusiasts are taking to the road. Riding a motorcycle can be fun, but it is also dangerous. According to Injury Facts 2015, statistics compiled by the National Safety Council, 4,668 motorcycle riders and passengers died in accidents in 2013, and an additional 88,000 were injured.

There are several reasons for these sobering statistics. Part of the problem is that motorcycle riders may be inexperienced, may not have ridden in a while, or may be under the influence of alcohol. Another reason for the high number of motorcycle deaths is that drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs are not on the lookout for motorcycles and drivers do not see bikes until it is too late to avoid a crash.

The National Safety Council has designated May as National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Here are some tips on how to stay safe and avoid an accident, whether you ride a motorcycle or drive a four-wheeled vehicle.

Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders

If you ride a motorcycle, you should always wear a helmet, whether your state requires one or not. It is estimated that helmets saved 1,699 lives in 2012, and hundreds more could have been saved if riders and passengers had been wearing helmets. Look for a new, full-coverage helmet with a DOT sticker.

Choose a motorcycle that is appropriate for your level of skill and experience. If you are new to motorcycle riding, take a safety course. If you have not ridden in a while, take a refresher course. Always drive defensively, especially at intersections, where other drivers who are turning may not see you. Look out for hazards, such as potholes, sand, gravel, puddles, and railroad tracks. Don’t weave in and out of lanes or drive on the shoulder, and don’t speed. Wear bright or reflective clothing and use your headlights any time you ride, day or night.

How Drivers of Cars Can Share the Road with Motorcycles

If you drive a car, truck, or SUV, you need to be careful, especially in the spring and summer, when many people are riding motorcycles. It can sometimes be difficult to see a motorcycle, especially at an intersection. Always slow down at an intersection and look both ways for motorcycles. Keep an eye on your rearview mirror to see if a motorcycle is approaching. Avoid distractions, such as talking on a cell phone and texting, when driving.

Staying safe on the road is everyone’s responsibility. Whether you ride a motorcycle or drive a car, exercise caution to keep yourself and others safe. Be especially vigilant in the warmer months when cars and motorcycles are frequently sharing the road.

Make Sure You Have Car or Motorcycle Insurance

Make sure you have the right insurance in case you are involved in an accident. Petruzelo Insurance can help you compare quotes from leading insurers so you can find the right coverage for your motorcycle, car, or SUV. Contact us today to learn more.