Recent motorcycle crashes serve as reminder to share the road safely

Aug. 3, 2012

For more information, Sally Ridenour (503) 986-3359 or Michele O'Leary (503) 986-4198

Recent motorcycle crashes serve as poignant reminders that safety should be a top priority for both motorcyclists and drivers. The Oregon Department of Transportation has received preliminary reports of five fatal motorcycle crashes within the last ten days.

Safety is everyone's responsibility. All through the year, but especially during the summer when more motorcyclists are on the road, drivers should safely "share the road" with motorcycles and be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. Motorcyclists have responsibilities too. They should obey traffic rules, be alert to other drivers, never ride while impaired or distracted and always wear a helmet and highly visible gear.

"It doesn't matter if you're on four wheels or two; we all have to do our part to share the road safely," said Michele O'Leary, Motorcycle Safety Program manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation.

ODOT offers safety tips for drivers and motorcyclists:


  • Remember, motorcycles are vehicles with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle on the roadway. Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width—never try to share a lane.
  • Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.
  • Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Allow more following distance, three or four seconds, when following a motorcycle, so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. Don't tailgate.


  • Never ride impaired.
  • Always wear a helmet and highly visible, protective clothing.
  • Allow time and space to react to other motorists or changing road conditions.
  • Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Don't speed.
  • Motorcycle rider training and education save lives. TEAM OREGON offers classes for beginner to advanced riders.