TAVARES – The Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST) is joining federal, state and local highway safety, law enforcement and motorcycle organizations in proclaiming May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.”
In an effort to keep motorcyclists safe, Lake County residents are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcycles, to stay alert, and to never drive, walk or bicycle while distracted. Motorcyclists are reminded to be alert to other drivers, make themselves visible to other motorists and to always wear a Department of Transportation (DOT)-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
“As the weather improves, more and more motorcyclists are hitting the roads,” said Sgt. Tom McKane, Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Chairman of the CTST. “Motorcycles are one of the smallest vehicles on our roads, often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. Everyone needs to actively look for them.”
A motorcyclist is much more vulnerable than a passenger vehicle occupant in the event of a crash. Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 37 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in traffic crashes.
The following tips are suggested for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe:
- Remember, motorcycles are a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle. Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width - never try to share a lane.
- Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.
- Don’t tailgate. Allow more following distance, three or four seconds, when behind a motorcycle so there is enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
- Never drive while impaired or distracted.
- Avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
- Wear brightly colored protective gear, a DOT- compliant helmet and use reflective tape and stickers to increase conspicuity.
- Use turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if you think no one will see it.
- Combine hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to yourself.
- Position yourself in the lane to be most visible to other drivers.
For more information on the Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team, contact Cheryl Sutherland at (352) 483-9092, or email at