The Washington metropolitan area should see an influx of thousands of additional motorcycles on the road this weekend with the 25th anniversary of Rolling Thunder.
The actual ride will occur Sunday. although the official ride is from the Pentagon to the District, it is very likely motorists throughout the D.C. metro area will see a higher than normal number of motorcycles on area roadways throughout the Memorial Day weekend.
More information about the Rolling Thunder Ride and related activities is available at www.rollingthundermotorcyclerally.com.
Fairfax County police have advised that traffic backups are likely in the ride area on Sunday.
Also, May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. Police have released the following tips to increase motorcycle safety:
- Road users are reminded to never drive, bike, or walk while distracted. Doing so can result in tragic consequences for motorcyclists.
- A motorcycle has the same rights and privileges as any other vehicle on the roadway.
- Allow a motorcyclist a full lane width. Although it may seem that there is enough room in the traffic lane for a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, the motorcycle needs the room to maneuver safely. Do not share the lane.
- Because motorcycles are small, they can be difficult for other road users to see them, or judge their speed and distance as they approach.
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows motorcyclists to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.
- Because of a motorcycle’s smaller size, a motorcyclist can be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. Always check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.
- Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals may not be self-canceling and motorcyclists sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the rider is going to turn before you proceed.
- Remember that road conditions that are minor annoyances to motorists can pose major hazards to motorcyclists. Motorcycle riders may change speed or adjust position within a lane suddenly in reaction to road and traffic conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces, pavement seams, railroad crossings and grooved pavement.
- Allow more following distance -- three or four seconds – when following a motorcycle so the motorcycle rider has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.