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Motorcycle Awareness–Making Tennessee Roads Safer for All Drivers

Motorcycle accidents are particularly dangerous – riders don’t have walls of metal and plastic protecting them during a crash; their safety is guarded only by a helmet, protective clothing, and their own defensive driving skills. When cyclists crash, injuries and/or death are all too common.

In the last month, the life of a Tennessee State Trooper was claimed in a motorcycle accident while traveling through Smyrna on duty. A cycling couple was injured in a motorcycle accident in Todd. A Rutherford County man was killed when his motorcycle crashed in Murfreesboro. Road rash, head injuries and spinal cord damage are also not uncommon in motorcycle crashes.

Many motorcycle accidents are preventable through safe driving techniques and awareness that all drivers, whether in cars, trucks or on motorcycles, must share the road.

Promoting Safety for Motorcyclists and Drivers on Tennessee Roads

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) declared May “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.” The Tennessee Department of Public Safety, Highway Patrol and Governor’s Highway Safety Office have teamed with the Motorcycle Awareness Foundation of Tennessee (MAFT) to promote safety for all on Tennessee’s roads this spring, particularly motorcycles.

Tennessee’s Traffic Safety Resources offers the following suggestions to avoid motorcycle accidents and make the roads safer for all who travel:

  • Do not drive side-by-side in a single lane with a motorcycle. Both motorcycles and cars should have their own lane width.
  • Be aware of motorcycles; they are on the road so keep an eye out for them.
  • Give motorcycles a greater distance when following behind one.

Basic safe-driving skills apply to all drivers on the road, including:

  • Signal your intentions; use your turn signal.
  • Save your phone calls and texts until you are safely in the park; don’t use your cell phone while driving.
  • Drinking and driving do not mix; don’t drive while under the influence.

Making the roads safe for all who travel them is everyone’s responsibility. As the weather continues to improve, more and more motorcyclists will be on the road. Make sure that you are seeing them.