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DMV reinforces use of caution this fall

Crisp fall weather and colorful scenic routes are an undeniable call for motorcyclists to take a ride. In light of recent roadway trends, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is reminding all motorcyclists and motorists to use caution.

As of Nov. 4, 95 motorcyclists have died in crashes on Virginia roadways, a 17% increase compared to the same date last year. In fact, more motorcyclists have already died in crashes this year than all of last year (87 motorcyclist fatalities in 2020).

Not only do motorcyclists and motorists share the road, but they also share the responsibility of taking proper precautions to keep roads safe for everyone.

“By combining safe riding practices and safe driving practices on Virginia’s roadways, together, we can prevent crashes and significantly reduce the number of motorcyclists killed each year,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor’s highway safety representative.

Motorcyclists are considered vulnerable road users due to the size of their vehicles, and motorcycles lack a considerable amount of protection compared to larger vehicles on the road.

In a continued effort to decrease traffic fatalities, DMV offers these safety tips for motorcyclists and motorists on the roads this fall:

Motorcycles or other smaller vehicles may appear farther away than they actually are, so take an extra moment to look before changing lanes, pulling into traffic, and turning at intersections.

Avoid distracted driving. The use of a cellphone or any handheld communications device while driving is illegal in Virginia. Remember, distracted driving is impaired driving, and impaired driving is always preventable.

Always maintain a safe following distance. Motorists and motorcyclists should practice keeping at least 3 seconds between themselves and the vehicle or motorcycle ahead.

Safety gear such as seat belts, helmets, and protective gear should always be properly utilized whenever operating a vehicle or motorcycle.

Use caution and slow down when riding through intersections. Failure to notice the presence of a motorcycle is one of the leading causes of vehicle and motorcycle collisions.

For more information on roadway safety for motorists and motorcyclists, visit TZDVA.org. DMV offers the Virginia Rider Training Program for both new and experienced riders.

Courses are taught by certified motorcycle safety instructors, and provide the opportunity to learn new techniques and practice skills in a controlled, safe environment. Classes are offered at community colleges and other locations throughout the state. Not only does taking a motorcycle safety course help to prepare you for your motorcycle endorsement, it also may qualify you for a discount on your motorcycle insurance. Visit dmvNOW.com for more information.