Pennsylvania is full of motorcycle enthusiasts and according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in 2017 there were almost 846,000 licensed motorcyclists and 377,862 registered motorcycles. Motorcyclists love to take in the beautiful scenery and views on long weekend rides around Beaver County and other areas of the state. Many motorcyclists also ride their bikes for their weekday commutes and some, a motorcycle is their only mode of transportation. With so many motorcycles on the road, motorcycle accidents are unfortunately bound to happen. In 2017 there were 3,052 reported motorcycle accident injuries and 185 fatalities in Pennsylvania.
Stay safer on the roads
Motorcyclists are vulnerable when they are sharing the road with larger passenger vehicles, vans, buses, and trucks. It is imperative that motorcyclists practice cautious and defensive driving at all times in order to prevent and avoid accidents. See below for some important motorcycle safety tips:
- Do not speed and drive at a safe speed for the conditions present including weather and traffic. A large percentage of motorcycle accidents involve at least one speeding vehicle.
- Wear a helmet and other protective gear. As you are probably aware, Pennsylvania does not have a helmet law, but it is a fact that motorcycle helmets reduce injuries and save lives in accidents.
- Stay out of blind spots as much as possible. Cars and trucks on the road have a hard time seeing other cars and trucks in their blind spots, let alone much smaller and harder to see motorcycles.
- Stay far enough back from other vehicles that you can avoid accidents due to sudden stops for road obstructions and unexpected traffic backups.
- Assume that other vehicles on the road do not see you and operate accordingly because often, they do not.
- Do not ride your motorcycle after drinking. Alcohol is involved in a large percentage of motorcycle accidents.
- Keep your bike well maintained and always check your lights before heading out for a ride in the dark.
- Keep a lookout far enough ahead for dangerous road conditions such as the presence of obstructions, gravel, sand, rocks, potholes, crumbling asphalt, and other poorly maintained road conditions.
- Take advantage of the Pennsylvania motorcycle safety program and go through free motorcycle safety and training classes.
- Lane splitting is not legal in Pennsylvania and it is not safe.