Penn. Encourages Motorcyclists to Take Actions to Reduce Risk This Spring

March 25, 2016

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller is advising all drivers to be aware of motorcycles, as warmer weather means more motorcyclists on Pennsylvania roadways.

Miller is also encouraging motorcyclists to consider safety measures which can save lives, reduce injuries, and save money as well.

“Protective eye wear to shield your eyes from the wind, bugs, rocks, or any other flying object is required under Pennsylvania law,” Miller said.

In addition, protective headgear, while optional for most riders, is required for anyone 21 years old or younger — unless that person has two years of riding experience or has completed a motorcycle safety course approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Miller said many insurers offer discounts for motorcyclists who have completed safety courses, have memberships in certain associations such as the Harley Owners Group, or have a safe driving record.

Anti-lock braking systems also help maintain control during sudden stops, and some insurers offer discounts for motorcycles with factory installed anti-lock braking systems.

While warmer spring weather offers more motorcyclists the opportunity to enjoy the open road, spring and summer months are also the most dangerous for motorcycle riders.

Sixty-two percent of all motorcycle deaths occur from May through September, and 52 percent of motorcycle fatalities in 2014 happened on weekends, according the U.S. Department of Transportation. More than half, 57 percent, of motorcyclist deaths in 2014 occurred on major roads that are not interstate highways or freeways.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says riders who wear a helmet are 37 percent less likely to die in a crash, and 67 percent less likely to suffer a brain injury.

The Pennsylvania Motorcycle Helmet Law requires helmets to meet standards approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which consumers can verify by looking for the “DOT” sticker on the helmet. In addition, approved helmets must be permanently labeled with the following information: name and identification of manufacturer; precise model designation; size; and month and year the helmet was manufactured.

Many insurers offer consumers additional optional coverage for custom parts and equipment, transport trailers, and personal property. Consumers may also have the option of adding coverage for roadside assistance or trip interruption.

“Pennsylvania’s motorcycle insurance market is competitive,” Miller said, “so I urge consumers to shop around and find the coverage that best meets their needs, at the best price.”

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