AAA warns drivers to be aware of motorcyclists this summer

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With summer now in full swing, it is up to Virginia’s drivers to help keep the roads safe for motorcyclists. (WYDaily/file photo)
With summer now in full swing, it is up to Virginia’s drivers to help keep the roads safe for motorcyclists. (HNNDaily/file photo)

The summer months are a prime time for a motorcycle ride, but take caution: It’s also the most dangerous time for motorcyclists, AAA Tidewater Virginia says.

In 2016 and 2017, nearly 40 percent of motorcycle traffic deaths occurred in the summer. So far in 2018, June and July alone already account for 29 percent of motorcyclist deaths, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

In the majority of cases, the deaths involved aggressive driving or intoxication, AAA Tidewater said.

With summer now in full swing, it is up to Virginia’s drivers to help keep the roads safe for motorcyclists. Here are some tips from AAA Tidewater:

  • Be extra cautious on weekends.
  • Give motorcyclists adequate room to maneuver, at least 5 or 6 feet, especially around road hazards like potholes or railroad tracks.
  • Never share a lane with a motorcycle.
  • Check mirrors and blind spots carefully before changing lanes.

With aggressive driving being one of the top causes of motorcycle fatalities, remember to always stay calm when driving. Here are some tips from AAA Tidewater to help avoid road rage:

  • Always manage your own behavior, even when you see someone doing something illegal or inconsiderate.
  • Never take anything that happens on the road personally.
  • Follow the rules of the road. This means using turn signals, allowing others to merge, using high beams responsibly, etc.
  • Avoid eye contact with angry drivers.
  • Do not respond to aggression with aggression.
  • If you feel unsafe, call 911 and drive to a public place like a police station.
  • When you park, allow space to pull out safely if somebody approaches aggressively.
  • Don’t ever leave your car if somebody is acting aggressively. If you are trapped, use your horn to draw attention.

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