The recent death of a 38-year-old motorcyclist in Pinellas Park is not how organizers expected Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to kick off in May. However, with more motor vehicle drivers remaining alert, aware and driving safely around motorcycles, such tragedies just may be avoided.
Every May, the nation recognizes Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to place the spotlight on these two-wheelers so common on U.S. and Florida roads.
SUV driver made left turn in front of motorcyclist
The May 2 crash that killed the motorcyclist in Pinellas Park occurred when the driver of an SUV made a left turn in front of the oncoming motorcycle. The motorcyclist died at the scene.
This scenario is one of the most common driver mistakes that can lead to a collision with a motorcycle. It is not unheard of for drivers to misjudge the distance between their vehicle and a motorcycle traveling in their direction. Also, drivers may misjudge the speed of the motorcycle in thinking they may safely make that left turn.
1 in 3 fatal crashes occur at intersections
Too many of these types of crashes continue to take place nationwide.
Of the nearly 2,500 fatal two-vehicle crashes involving a motorcycle and another vehicle in 2019, a total of 41% happened when another vehicle made a left turn in front of the motorcycle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The recent Florida motorcyclist fatality is noteworthy for at least another reason. The man’s death occurred at an intersection, and more than 1 in 3 motorcycle fatalities occurred at intersections on nation’s roads in 2019, according to the NHTSA.
Lives remain at stake
It will take consistent messaging and worthy campaigns such as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to spread the word among the drivers that they need to be careful. Lives are at stake.