A motorcycle ride through East Tennessee can take you on a historical journey filled with beautiful terrain along state and county roads. But remember you must share Hamblen County roads with tourists, many of whom are Civil War buffs or here to enjoy Cherokee Lake and the Panther Creek State Park.
Motorcycle enthusiasts relish freedom and exploration, but they also must remain cautious and alert whenever they hit the road. May is national Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. For most bikers, a focus on safety occurs every day when sharing the road with much larger vehicles some of which are driven by careless and inattentive drivers.
Be alert to inattentive and dangerous drivers
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a total of 5,172 motorcyclists were killed in accidents throughout the United States in 2017. Of those deaths, 130 were in Tennessee. In addition, an estimated 89,000 were injured in motorcycle accidents in the country.
You do not want to become a statistic. Wearing bright clothing makes you more noticeable to other drivers, while wearing protective gear such as a helmet, leather clothing, boots and gloves may prevent serious injuries.
But the main thing is being aware of potential hazards caused by other drivers. Other motorists often cause motorcycle collisions through:
- Reckless behavior: Speeding, running through stop signs and traffic lights can cause untold injuries and even death to motorcycle riders.
- Inattentiveness: Distracted drivers are dangerous. The smartphone has become their tool of choice, talking on it or texting. Watch out for these drivers.
- Fatigue: Drivers sometimes become drowsy after traveling long hours without breaks. They may nod off, fall asleep and cause a serious accident.
- Alcohol or drugs: Drivers who are drunk or high on drugs are dangerous.
Safety must always take priority when riding your motorcycle. If only all other drivers felt the same way. We want you to enjoy motorcycle season, but stay vigilant any time you ride. And let your friends know about Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.