Motorcycle riders urging safety during safety awareness month

Michigan officials are urging drivers to be aware of motorcyclists on the road as the weather gets warmer.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 10:18 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - Michigan officials are urging drivers to be aware of motorcyclists on the road as the weather gets warmer.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

Vince Consiglio is the President of ABATE, or American Bikers Aiming Toward Education.

“I’m the safest when I’m away from cars,” Consiglio said. “We’ve trained over 100,000 drivers since 1981.”

He is reminding drivers on their bikes, and behind the wheel, to be hyper aware of safety on the road.

“Give us some space, give us some room, don’t tailgate. The biggest one is left hand turns. People will turn left, and they’ll see an oncoming cyclist’s head light and they think they can make this left-hand turn, and unfortunately a lot of times they don’t,” Consiglio said.

A left-hand turn Monday morning landed a cyclist in the hospital. State police said a 37-year-old St. Louis man was seriously injured after his bike collided with a pickup making a left turn.

Consiglio said there has been an uptick in motorcycle crashes and fatalities. He said the uptick, especially in unendorsed riders. Those are riders who do not have a cycle license.

“Unendorsed riders are up dramatically. They’ve tripled since COVID. They had it down to around 38 unendorsed riders out of maybe 120 fatalities. Last year in 2020, there were 88 unendorsed fatalities,” Consiglio said.

He said the roads are generally more dangerous now.

“Right now, speeding is rampant as far as across the whole state,” Consiglio said.

In 2020, there were 3,375 motorcyclists involved in a crash. Nearly 300 more than the year prior, according to Michigan traffic crash facts.

Consiglio is reminding motorcyclists that the proper rider education and training can be lifesaving.

“It does help reduce the number of fatalities and accidents. But there’s no guarantee that just because someone takes a course that they’re going to be safe,” Consiglio said.

That is where automobile drivers come in.

“Just look. Be aware that cyclists handle differently,” Consiglio said.