May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the Nebraska Safety Council wants drivers on four and two wheels to watch out for each other.
Laurie Klosterboer, executive director of the Council, says motorcyclists must be proactive.
“Since they’re on a bike, they’re more narrow, it’s more difficult to see them,” she tells Nebraska Radio Network. “So, making sure that they are wearing bright clothing, I think that will help them be seen.”
She says a quality helmet and watching what other traffic is doing is also necessary.
As for other drivers, Klosterboer says they need to know more motorcycles will be on the road.
“When a driver of a vehicle is looking to change lanes or turn at an intersection, taking that extra moment and be looking for a motorcyclist,” she advises.
She says drivers need to increase their following distance behind a motorcycle too.
“There are times that motorcyclists may be slowing down by downshifting or rolling off the throttle, which may not activate that brake light.”
Last year, Nebraska had 27 motorcycle fatalities, according to state data.
There are more than 54,000 registered motorcycles in Nebraska, and Klosterboer says those riders need to wear a helmet.
“If you look at the research and you look at the data that’s out there, wearing a quality helmet is going to be beneficial for the rider, if something would happen, if there would be some sort of a crash,” she explains. “You also want to make sure that you’re wearing leather or other sturdy, protective clothing.”
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:47]