Weather is warming up and our city will soon begin seeing an increase in motorcyclists. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the Morristown Police Department (MPD) would like to increase awareness in the community about the importance of sharing the road and looking twice for motorcyclists.
Hamblen County is ranked 37th in the state for motorcycle crashes. In 2018, Hamblen County had 22 motorcycle crashes. In the city limits, there were 9 motorcycle crashes with 1 being fatal.
General tips to drivers on preventing a crash with a motorcycle are:
- Even though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, the operator still has the same rights of the road as any other motorist. Be sure to allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
- Slow down behind a motorcycle; they can maneuver faster than cars and changes in the surface of the road they are sensitive to. Always allow more follow distance. Three to four seconds of distance will give operators more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
- Be cautious of a motorcycle with a blinker on, before proceeding make sure they will be turning. Motorists should always use their turn signal to allow others to anticipate your move.
- Be sure to check all your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes and turning, especially at intersections.
MPD Chief Roger D. Overholt stated, “Morristown is a favorite pass through for many motorcyclists. MPD urges all motorists to be aware of increased motorcycle traffic during the warmer months.” The MPD would also like to remind motorcyclists to wear their helmets and be aware of their surroundings.