Summer is in full swing, and many Virginia motorcyclists have been enjoying the beautiful weather on the open road. Tragically, as the temperatures have risen, so have the number of riders who have lost their lives in traffic crashes.
Since June 1, 2021, 21 riders have died on Virginia roadways in traffic crashes. Of those, nine have been in single-vehicle crashes.
The Virginia State Police is urging all motorists to do their part to share the road responsibly. Passenger and commercial vehicle drivers need to remain alert for motorcyclists due to their size and visibility. When pulling onto or across a roadway or when changing lanes, drivers are especially advised to be on the lookout for motorcycles as they can be obstructed by other vehicles, glare, etc.
Per vehicle miles traveled in 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports motorcyclists were about 29 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured. Safe motorcycling takes balance, coordination, and good judgment. To help enhance motorcyclists’ safety, state police is encouraging Virginians to participate in the free “Ride 2 Save Lives” motorcycle self-assessment courses being offered now through October 2021. This course allows current riders the opportunity to learn and practice rider safety, how to handle hazards, special situations, interstate highways, curve negotiation and much more. The course is conducted by Virginia State Police Motors Troopers and allows riders to get to know their own motorcycles in a safe environment.
All participants must have a valid operator’s license with a Class ‘M’ endorsement, appropriate riding attire, and helmet and eye protection. Motorcycles must be street legal and helmets must be DOT approved to participate in this program.
Virginia State Police conducts the “Ride 2 Save Lives” course yearly, beginning in the spring and ending in the fall. A comprehensive listing of Ride 2 Save Lives courses can be found by visiting virginiastatepolice.eventbrite.com. Space is limited and advanced registration for these free courses is required.