Governor Roy Cooper proclaims May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Published 2:21 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2018

RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to bring awareness to motorcycle fatalities and serious injuries on North Carolina roadways. Motorists are encouraged to share the road and watch closely for motorcycles and riders to practice safe riding.

“Vehicle drivers can unintentionally become huge dangers to a motorcyclist’s safety,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program “Motorists need to pay more attention to their surroundings and drive more safely when motorcyclists are on the road with them.”

Motorcyclists are nearly five times more likely to be injured and 29 times more likely to be killed in a crash than any other vehicle. A rider not wearing a helmet is five times more likely to sustain a critical head injury.

In 2017, there were 3,600 motorcycle-related crashes that resulted in 141 fatalities and 592 serious injuries. This was an eight percent reduction from 2016, when there were 151 rider fatalities.  However, in 2018 there have been 35 fatalities, which is a two percent decrease from the same time a year ago.

BikeSafe North Carolina invites motorcyclists to participate in a free “Rider Skills Day” class that offers an assessment of current driving skills and provides advice to help make their experience as a motorcyclist safer and more enjoyable. For more information, including a full schedule of classes, visit

The Governor’s Highway Safety Program urges motorcyclists and other drivers to follow the following safety tips:


  • Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear;
  • Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed;
  • Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn;
  • Wear brightly colored clothes, gear, and reflective tape to increase visibility;
  • Obey the posted speed limit; and
  • Never ride distracted or impaired.

Other drivers:

  • Share the road. Motorcyclists have the right to a full lane;
  • Stay alert and be aware that motorcycles can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spot, so take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic when changing lanes, especially at intersections;
  • Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic;
  • Keep a safe distance by allowing more following space – three to four seconds – behind motorcycles;
  • Be cautious, as not all turn signals on a motorcycle are self-canceling, thus some riders sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change;
  • Obey the posted speed limit; and
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.

BikeSafe North Carolina complements the NC Vision Zero initiative, which aims to save lives on North Carolina roadways. The goal is to reach zero traffic-related fatalities through data-driven safety interventions.