As the weather in North Carolina warms, more motorcycle enthusiasts hit the road on their bikes. However, more motorcycles on the road mean more motorcycle accidents and motorcycle fatalities – in 2009 alone, 151 motorcycle riders were killed across North Carolina and hundreds more were seriously injured. By designating May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in North Carolina, NC State Transportation Secretary Gene Conti hopes that both bikers and others on the road will give more thought to how we can reduce the number of motorcycle accidents in 2010.

For motorcycle riders, the first and best step you can take to prevent motorcycle fatalities is to wear a helmet whenever riding. Helmets are required by law in North Carolina – and this law was put in place for a reason. Helmets can drastically reduce the rate of motorcycle deaths and minimize head injuries and traumatic brain injuries when crashes do occur. While helmet cannot fully prevent head injuries during motorbike accidents, they will reduce the seriousness of the brain injury and greatly improve the rider’s changes of a full recovery.

For other drivers on the road, Motorcycle Safety Month is a perfect time to be more aware of motorcycles on the road and to share the road with them. A large number of motorcycle accidents occur in North Carolina simply because a larger vehicle did not see a motorcycle. Be sure to look closely before making left turns or changing lanes – motorcycles can become hidden in blind spots or behind other vehicles.