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May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

In recognition of May as National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, Mission Viejo Police Services is reminding drivers and riders alike to be alert and aware of their surroundings and practice safety while on the road.

According to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015 — an 8 percent increase from the previous year. During that same year, about 88,000 motorcyclists were injured.

Drivers can help reduce motorcycle-related injuries and deaths by making it a habit to “share the road” and pay attention. Eliminate distracted driving by not using electronic devices. Check blind spots often, especially when preparing to make a turn or lane change; remember to look twice. When driving near a motorcycle, leave space for the rider to maneuver – that person may have to swerve abruptly depending on other vehicles, road conditions or because of certain objects on the road that pose danger. When driving behind a motorcycle, make sure to leave enough space in case a sudden stop becomes necessary.

Motorcycle safety is a two-way street. Riders must also obey all traffic laws and commit to learning new skills by continuing safety education courses. It is imperative to wear a helmet that meets the Department of Transportation’s safety standards and is required by law. In addition, wear the proper safety gear and choose a bike that best fits you.  While on the road, watch out for hazards like potholes and debris and position yourself so you are seen by other motorists as much as possible. At intersections, where half of all collisions occur, drive defensively. Remember to be courteous and avoid weaving in and out of lanes or riding in areas that are off limits.

All motorists are responsible for being alcohol and drug-free when operating any vehicle.

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