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May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Motorcycle in lower right corner, "Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month" graphic above
May 16

Motorcyclist’s Safety Is Everyone’s Safety

May marks the beginning of riding season for many motorcyclists in Alabama. It is also Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Motorcycle safety is an ongoing responsibility for all road users. By consistently following safe driving and riding practices and sharing the road with everyone, motorists can help reduce the number of motorcyclist fatalities in Alabama.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 6,218 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes in 2022, which is 15 percent of total highway fatalities for that year and a slight increase from 2021. Motorcyclists are about 22 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash. There were 95 motorcyclist fatalities in Alabama in 2022.

Each year motorcyclists are overrepresented in traffic crashes. The two leading contributors are speeding and alcohol impairment.

Speeding is a major contributing factor to motorcyclist fatalities. Thirty-five percent of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding. Motorcycle riders 21 to 24 years old involved in fatal crashes represent 51 percent of all crashes.

Alcohol impairment plays a significant role in motorcycle-involved crash fatalities. Forty-two percent of riders who died in crashes were alcohol impaired. Motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had a higher percentage of alcohol impairment than any other type of motor vehicle driver.

Safe Driving Tips for all Drivers

  • Observe all traffic laws and always obey the speed limit
  • Drive and ride alcohol and drug free
  • Avoid distractions while driving or riding
  • Drivers should yield to motorcycles, especially while turning at intersections
  • Motorcyclists should wear high-visibility protective gear and DOT compliant helmets

One other significant step that motorcycle riders can take toward promoting road safety for all motorists is completing a rider education and training course. During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and every month, motorcycle riders should adopt and promote safe driving practices. Everyone can work towards a secure environment for motorcycle riders and all other motorists.