May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month!  As warmer weather arrives, more motorcycles and bikes will be on the road. The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) and its Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program (GMSP) remind all motorists to “Share the Road” year-round.

Share the Road: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility, is an awareness campaign developed by The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA)

DDS Commissioner Spencer R. Moore commented, “Sharing the road is definitely everyone’s responsibility. Remember, no one — no driver, motorcyclist, or pedestrian — has sole rights to the road. It’s a shared space where we all have rights and responsibilities to keep everyone safe on the road.”

Both motorcyclists and motorists need to be aware of their surroundings. Just like drivers behind the wheel, motorcyclists must obey signs and signals. Ride defensively, assuming others cannot see you, and don’t let yourself be distracted by music, an electronic device, or anything else that takes your focus off the road.

Motorcyclists should keep their motorcycles in the best working condition and be aware of any road hazards and dangerous weather conditions. Many times, motorcyclists are not seen by other drivers. Motorcyclists can increase their visibility to other motorists by, wearing brightly colored protective gear, using highly reflective material at night on protective gear and motorcycles, positioning themselves in traffic to be seen, and communicating their intentions to other road users with turn and hand signals.

“The best way to celebrate Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is to always wear a helmet, support all rider laws, and ensure fellow riders do the same. Wearing a helmet is imperative to the safety of our riders. Just like motorists buckling their seat belts, wearing a helmet can drastically increase survival rates in a crash,” said GMSP Manager Holly Hegyesi.

Tips for Motorcyclists

At the same time, motorcyclists must take extra precautions to guard against drivers who may not see them. Motorcyclists may follow these tips to prevent a fatal crash with a vehicle:

Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.

Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.

Ride in the middle of the lane, where you will be more visible to drivers.

Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.

Never ride distracted or impaired.

Tips for Drivers

Sharing the road begins with the understanding that motorcyclists have the same rights as you. Because vehicle drivers control a much larger machine, they must keep a close watch for motorcyclists who may be nearby. Drivers may follow these tips to prevent a fatal crash with a motorcycle:

A motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has the same rights on the road as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.

Checking blind spots, mirrors, and using turn signals are necessary when passing and changing lanes.

Always allow more following distance—three to four seconds—when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.

Never drive distracted or impaired.

About the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program

The Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program (GMSP) is a part of the Georgia Department of Driver Services. In addition to regulating motorcycle rider education programs, the GMSP also promotes motorist awareness programs, and share-the-road campaigns, and is focused on highway safety issues affecting Georgia motorcyclists. For more information on motorcycle safety, visit