The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Motorcycle Safety Program
MOTORIST AWARENESS ACTIVITIES
It is critical for motorists to learn to identify, and share the road safely with motorcyclists. This is an important element to NHTSA's motorcycle safety program. In 2001, there were 1,428 two-vehicle fatal crashes involving a motorcycle and another vehicle. In 36 percent (516) of these crashes, the other vehicle was turning left while the motorcycle was going straight or passing. Because of the motorcycle's size and unique handling characteristics, other roadway users may not understand the actions that motorcyclists take to safely interact in traffic. For example, roadway users may not provide motorcycle operators enough space or allow adequate reaction time to take crash avoidance maneuvers to avoid a hazard.
To educate motorists on learning to identify, and share the road with, motorcyclists, NHTSA, while enhancing its existing highway safety partnerships, plans to engage key National organizations to promote motorcycle awareness to their members, while also encouraging these organizations to include safety awareness messages in their materials, as appropriate. In addition to a motorcycle awareness message, the agency will work with appropriate organizations to promote messages that will discourage drinking and riding, while encouraging the use of personal protective gear.
NHTSA's Motorist Awareness Program:
Complete Motorist Awareness State Demonstration Projects. The agency is nearing completion of motorist awareness activities in New York and Washington State to test how motorist awareness messages can affect the number of motorcycle crashes. New York's effort kicked off during the summer of 2001 and is known as the "Drive Right" campaign. Washington's efforts kicked off in the Spring of 2002. NHTSA plans to package the demonstration projects' templates, to make them available to State and community-based traffic safety organizations throughout the country. Targeted completion date – October 2003