Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Sheriff's Office

Motorcycle Safety

April 07, 2008
Contact: Elise Schaffer, PIO Phone: (608) 284-6142 Email:
Sheriff's Office

Motorcyclists are beginning to take their first rides of the season. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is reminding cyclists that early spring driving may be hazardous. Deputies advise cyclists to use caution due to the winter debris that remains on roadways throughout the county. Rains have not yet washed away much of the sand, salt and gravel which can be especially hazardous on secondary roads and near shoulders and intersections. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends these general guidelines for riding a motorcycle safely: Be Visible: · Remember that motorists often have trouble seeing motorcycles and reacting in time. · Make sure your headlight works and is on day and night. · Use reflective strips or decals on your clothing and on your motorcycle. · Flash your brake light when you are slowing down and before stopping. Dress for safety: · Wear a quality, light-colored helmet and eye protection. · Wear leather or other thick, protective clothing. · Choose long sleeves and pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves. Apply effective mental strategies: · Constantly search the road for changing conditions. · Give yourself enough space and time to respond to other motorist’s actions. · Avoid weaving between lanes. · Watch for turning vehicles. · Signal your next move in advance. · Pretend your invisible and ride defensively. · Don’t ride when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. · Know and follow the rules of the road, and stick to the speed limit. Know your bike and how to use it. · Get formal training and take a refresher course. · Practice. Develop your riding techniques before going into heavy traffic. Know how to handle your bike in conditions such as wet or sandy roads, high winds, and uneven surfaces. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle fatalities have been steadily rising since 1997. Motorcycle fatalities now account for 11% of all traffic fatalities, and currently represent the nations greatest highway safety challenge. ###