May was a deadly month for motorcyclists

Public safety officials remind motorcyclists and motorists to drive carefully and share the road following a deadly month for riders in May when seven were killed. There have been 13 rider deaths to date this year, compared to five at this time in 2011.

Last month, one-third of the state’s deaths were motorcyclists. In a typical year, riders account for 10 percent of deaths.

“Nearly half of all motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. The most common factors attributed to other drivers are inattention and failure to yield the right of way,” according to Bill Shaffer, MMSC program coordinator.

DPS offers these life-saving safety tips for motorists and motorcyclists:

• Look twice – motorists should check their blind spots, as motorcycles are easily hidden in traffic, and always take a second look over your shoulder – don’t rely solely on your mirrors.

· Share the road – motorists and motorcyclists should keep a safe distance from all vehicles, especially other motorcyclists.

• Drive at safe speeds and stay focused on driving – speeding and inattention are the two most-cited contributing factors in motorcycle crashes.

• Wear the gear – motorcyclists should wear brightly-colored protective gear and a helmet for visibility and protection.

• Don’t drink and ride – one-third of all motorcycle fatalities involve impaired riders.

Preliminary reports indicate 42 rider deaths in 2011.