(WLNS) Lansing, Mich.—May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and this month law enforcement wants to spread awareness to safety skills, procedures, and helmets.
Lieutenant Brian Oleksyk is the Michigan State Police Public Information Officer and says a helmet is a key way to survive a motorcycle crash.
Oleksyk told 6 News that in 2019 alone there were 2,723 motorcycle traffic crashes.
“Out of those initial 2,723 motorcycle traffic crashes, there were 122 fatalities and with those fatalities,” Oleksyk said. “54 of those motorcyclists were not wearing helmets.”
According to law enforcement, a helmet can save a life. However, Oleksyk says buying a used helmet is never a good option. He recommends brand new safety gear around your skull.
“You don’t know if that helmet was involved in a traffic crash before or the helmet took an impact so you don’t know what the liner looks like,” Oleksyk said. “Sometimes the weather conditions, the heat, the cold that plays a role after a few years with the stability.”
In Michigan by law motorcyclists over 21-year-old do not have to wear a helmet. However, Oleksyk says it’s always a safer option to wear one.
“Anytime you ride a motorcycle you’re traveling over 35 miles per hour state law requires you to wear some sort of face protection,” Oleksyk stated. “Whether it’s the windshield from your motorcycle, goggles, high glasses, or face shield we recommend those to be shatter-resistant
Oleksyk’s biggest piece of advice to motorists, future motorcycle riders, and present riders is to check headlights, brake lights, and tail lights.
“Make sure you get your motorcycle endorsement,” Oleksyk stated, “and when you go to buy your motorcycle as well and when you take it down to the road tires are in proper working order.”
During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month law enforcement wants to remind the general public driving a car and riding a motorcycle calls for a different set of skills.
However, all states require a motorcycle endorsement, and to get an endorsement motorists would need to pass a written and on-cycle skills test administered by the Secretary of State’s Office.