May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and also when we are likely to see more motorcycling activity in Indiana. As COVID-19 restrictions across the state are eased, there is likely to also be more traffic on the streets over the next few weeks and motorcyclists must bear that in mind.
Motorcycling during a pandemic has its own challenges. Granted, motorcycling, walking and bicycling are being considered safer means of transport during the pandemic which has caused a special aversion to all form of public or mass transit. However, motorcyclists who believe that it is safer to ride during a pandemic-induced lockdown of traffic may have another think coming.
Just because the streets are emptier than before doesn’t necessarily mean they are safer. Remember that in certain cities, there has been an uptick in pedestrian and bicycle accidents. This is because although there are fewer motorists on the streets, there is increased rash, reckless driving. Motorists are more likely to ignore traffic lights or speed limits when they know the streets are emptier and safer. They are more likely to ignore traffic safety rules and drive rashly. They are also more likely to indulge in negligent driving behaviors, like texting while driving. All of these behaviors are dangerous, and increase a motorist’s risk of being involved in an accident with a motorcyclist, or pedestrian.
The dangers to motorists may be even greater because many motorcyclists are riding for the first time after fall. Skills may be rusty, especially for newer motorcyclists.
Motorists must look out for motorcyclists and other road users when riding. As the weather gets warmer, we are likely to see an increase in motorcyclists who can enjoy riding while maintaining social distancing protocols. Motorcyclists, on their part, must look out for speeding or reckless motorists. Prepare for a surge in traffic as malls and other commercial establishments reopen and people begin driving again.