May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and state officials urge all motorists to be vigilant in the wake of an alarming spike in crashes and fatalities involving bikers.
Preliminary data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research shows fatal motorcycle crashes were up nearly 35 percent from 2019 to 2020.
So far this year, there has been one fatality and more than 40 reported injuries in just the first few weeks of riding season.
“Despite fewer vehicles on the road last year, we saw a startling increase in deadly motorcycle crashes, and every life lost was someone’s loved one,” said GTSC Chair and DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “Everyone sharing the road whether in a car or on a motorcycle has a responsibility to help stop these tragedies. As the weather warms up and we continue making progress battling COVID-19, there will be more traffic and more riders, so stay alert, avoid distractions, and never, ever drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”
Motorcycle riders continue to be overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes. In 2020 alone, motorcycle crash fatalities represented 18 percent of all motor vehicle crash fatalities in New York.
To promote important motorcycle safety tips for riders and motorists, GTSC is using targeted advertisements online. It is also placing important safety messages at more than 150 gas stations in New York.
They will be affixed to fuel pump toppers and nozzle handles throughout the riding season.
GTSC also promotes motorcycle safety tips on its website.