May is National Motorcycle Awareness Month. While drivers should be aware of their surroundings all times of year, May is one of the first months across the nation where warmer days out number cooler ones. In states such as Colorado, snow is finally a thing of the wintry past, and it’s no surprise that more people are hitting the road for enjoyment and adventure. Those people often include motorcyclists.

Awareness campaigns during May focus on making other drivers aware of motorcycles on the road, but they also seek to educate motorcyclists about safety tips and tools. For example, even though not every state requires motorcyclists to wear helmets, most experts advise riders to do so. A helmet can save a life and a properly fitting helmet doesn’t interfere with vision or overall ride enjoyment.

For non-riders, this month might mean understanding how to operate cars and trucks around motorcycles to avoid accidents. One thing everyone should do is keep his or her eyes on the road — a motorcycle is small and can be easily missed by distracted drivers. Other drivers are also reminded that motorcycles are vehicles and have a right to their own space on the road. You should never crowd a bike more than you would a car or truck.

Finally the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges everyone on the road — from car drivers to motorcyclists — to be smart and sober. Follow common sense and traffic laws and don’t drink and drive. If you are in an accident that is caused because someone else didn’t follow traffic laws or was drinking, then you might have a case for compensation of damages or injuries.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month,” accessed April 29, 2016