By RANDY RICHMAN
The April showers will bring May flowers, but don’t let their beauty distract you from your driving.
With everyone making the most of the warmer weather, it’s a must that we remain aware of the increased motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic on and around our roadways. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported 37,133 lives were lost on roadways in 2017, a 2-percent decrease from the previous year. Those deaths included pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists and distraction-related deaths, such as occurred while texting or using an electronic device.
Be sure to practice these safety tips and share the roads during the warm weather:
- Be alert and aware of your environment when driving. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by your phone, radio, passengers or any other distractions.
- Before riding a motorcycle in traffic, practice riding in a controlled environment, such as an empty parking lot, until you feel comfortable controlling your bike.
- When riding any motorized or non-motorized bicycle or vehicle, be sure to wear the proper safety gear. Helmets, eye protection and protective footwear, pads and clothing will best protect you when riding. Wear gloves for a better grip.
- Wear brightly colored clothing so you’re easily spotted by motorists.
- Ride responsibly, follow all traffic laws, proceed cautiously at intersections and ride with your headlight on day or night.
- Bicyclists are to ride with traffic, while pedestrians are to walk against traffic so they can see oncoming hazards.
- If you must walk at night, wear bright clothing and carry a lit flashlight to make yourself more visible.
At the end of the day, we all want to go home safe and sound, so, stay alert, be aware and share the roadways. It’s the best route to summer fun!
Randy Richman is a part-time Brookfield firefighter and paramedic, a firefighting instructor and regional director of hyperbaric medicine for Shared Health Service Inc.