By Leslie Tomaino, Naval Safety Command Safety Promotions
So far in fiscal year 2022, the DON has lost 10 (five Navy, five Marine Corps) Sailors and Marines due to motorcycle mishaps. Del Toro stresses reinforced leadership involvement to ensure Navy and Marine Corps riders have the training, programs and support to operate safely on our nation’s roads.
“Losing one Sailor or Marine to a motorcycle fatality brings a significant loss to family, friends, and shipmates, but what is most tragic is that the majority of causal factors can be mitigated,” said Del Toro. “As we prepare to ramp up for spring and summer, we need to aggressively address motorcycle safety and protect our Sailors and Marines.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that in 2020, motorcycle-related deaths accounted for 14% of total highway fatalities. Other disturbing statistics note, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely than vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle accident and four times more likely to be injured. These figures show just how vital motorcycle safety is.
“Basic riding fundamentals, sound decision-making and individual responsibility are important for our riders to mitigate unnecessary risks every time they think about getting on a motorcycle,” said Del Toro. “While May is observed as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, I encourage all levels of the chain of command to get involved with their riders to ensure they are taking every precaution to ride safely.”
One resource available is a motor vehicle safety-focused public awareness campaign from the Department of Transportation (DOT) that includes four areas of focus: Motorist Awareness of Motorcycles, Ride Sober or Get Pulled Over, Rider Safety and Share the Road. The first focuses on helping motorists understand driving behaviors and learn how to drive safely around motorcycles on our roadways. The second focuses on impaired riding prevention. The third focuses on ways that motorcyclists can increase their riding safety, and the fourth promotes motorcyclist awareness and safety for both motorcycle riders and motor vehicle drivers.
For more information about the four major campaigns, visit https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/motorcycle-safety.