"Motorcyclists will be out in force as the weather gets warmer, which is why it is the perfect time for us to remind the community about the vulnerability of motorcycle riders," said Chief Lowell Womack. "All motorists need to know how to anticipate and respond to motorcyclists to avoid crashes."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers general tips to drivers on preventing a crash with a motorcycle:
• Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the road as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
• Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
• If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
• Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
• Always allow more follow distance - three to four seconds - when behind a motorcycle. This gives riders more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
Preliminary data reveals that in 2015, Tennessee experienced an increase in motorcycle. fatalities. There was also an increase in the number of those killed who were not wearing a 'helmet. There were over 2,800 crashes involving a motorcycle last year statewide.
"Most people underestimate the power of the vehicle they are driving," said Tennessee Highway Safety Office Public Information Officer Amanda Brown. "Vulnerable road users like motorcycle riders, bicycle riders, and pedestrians are no match against the four thousand pound vehicle you are operating. In the event of a crash, they are defenseless. That is why we are asking that this month, and all year round, motorists take an extra moment to look twice."
For more information about the look Twice campaign or to learn more about motorcycle safety, visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.