May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is asking all motor vehicle operators to share the road, be alert and safe.

About 550,000 Wisconsin residents hold a motorcycle license, according to the DOT. 

“Because of their smaller profile, it’s easy to misjudge the speed and distance of an approaching motorcycle,” said David Pabst, Director of WisDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Safety, in a news release. “That’s why we ask car and truck drivers to look twice at motorcycles before pulling out from a stop sign, turning left at an intersection or changing lanes.” 

Last year in Wisconsin, there were 1,799 motorcycle crashes in which 1,532 motorcyclists were injured and 81 were killed. Safety on the roadways requires that everyone do their part: 

  • If you’re driving a car or truck, watch carefully for motorcycles before pulling out from a stop sign, turning left or changing lanes;
  • Motorcyclists should wear all the gear, all the time, including visible and protective equipment;
  • Anticipate potential problems by focusing on the road ahead. Gravel or other debris on roadways present special challenges for motorcyclists;
  • Get properly licensed. Consider taking a motorcycle safety course.