02 March 2011




Joanna Newton, spokesperson, AAA Automotive Services, (813) 787-6886 cell, JNewton@AAASouth.com

Michele Harris, director, AAA Traffic Safety Culture, (813) 728-1230 cell, MMHarris@AAASouth.com


Despite Concern, Only 19% Always Wear Reflective Gear When Riding a Motorcycle

TAMPA, Fla.(Mar 2, 2011)— In a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey, 71 percent of bikers said their main concerns when riding a motorcycle are distracted motorists and not being seen. However, only 19 percent of them said they always wear reflective gear that would increase their visibility. Although it’s important for everyone to share the road, motorcycle riders should do everything possible to be visible to other motorists and never ride after alcohol consumption.

More than half of survey respondents who were involved in a motorcycle crash said the other motorists were to blame, showed the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey. Motorcyclists are often more difficult to see than other motorists since they are smaller and often times hidden in a driver’s blind spots. Too often motorists unknowingly pull out in front of motorcycles causing deadly crashes, especially when making left-hand turns.

“We want motorcycle riders to be aware that while it is the responsibility of the automobile driver to pay full attention to their surroundings, bikers should do everything possible to help other motorists see them by riding with their lights on and/or adding reflective material to their motorcycle,” said Michele Harris, director, AAA Traffic Safety Culture.

Another major concern is the issue of riding after alcohol consumption. Consumer Pulse™ survey respondents who own and ride motorcycles (32%) said they have ridden their motorcycle within a few hours after alcohol consumption.

“Alcohol continues to be a major factor in motorcycle crashes and most riders may not realize the extreme danger they put themselves and other motorists in when riding a motorcycle impaired,” said Harris. “Alcohol diminishes a riders reaction time, impedes their coordination and slows their ability to make decisions—overall it’s just a deadly mix.”

Other AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey Results:

  • 33% of bikers said they have been involved in a motorcycle crash and of them, 67% said “Another vehicle caused the crash”
  • 82% of bikers said they always wear a helmet when they ride
  • The top reason cited for not wearing a helmet when riding are high temperatures
  • 23% of bikers surveyed said they have ridden within a few hours of alcohol consumption
  • The main reasons cited for riding after drinking were: Bikers believing they were not intoxicated (74%) and “Only drove a short distance” (35%)

Motorcycle Awareness Tips for Motorists:

  • Check blind spots before changing lanes or merging, especially in heavy traffic. Assume motorcycles pulling out of side streets do not see you and may pull in front of you.
  • Expect to see motorcycles as they are often hard to see in traffic. Look for a helmet, tires, or a shadow alongside a vehicle that you can’t see around.
  • Don’t drive distracted. A driver who takes their eyes off of the road for just two seconds doubles their risk of getting into a crash. Distracted driving is a major cause of motorcycle crashes.
  • Keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Motorcyclists may blend into groups of vehicles and can be closer than you think. Also, not all motorcycles are loud, so listen closely if you think one is nearby.
  • Watch out when making a left-hand turn. Most crashes between cars and motorcycles involve left-hand turns at intersections

AAA Auto Club South now offers AAAMotorcycle, an Emergency Response Service specifically for motorcyclists. AAA Motorcycle is a newly expanded level of roadside assistance coverage for AAA Auto Club South members who ride motorcycles in addition to the other benefits provided by the chosen AAA membership level. AAA Motorcycle covers four tows up to 100 miles each, trip continuance, locksmith, fuel, trailer coverage, discounts and more. For more information, visit www.AAA.com/BIke

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey was conducted online among residents living in AAA Auto Club South territory from February 8-11.  A total of 202 motorcycle riders completed the survey. The survey has a maximum margin of error of +/- 6.7 percentage points.  Overall survey responses are weighted by age to ensure reliable and accurate representation of motorcycle riders, 18 years of age and older in Florida, Georgiaand Tennessee.

AAA Auto Club South is the third largest affiliate of AAA, with 79 branch offices serving more than 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, Middle/West Tennessee, and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.

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AAA Auto Club South, 1515 N West Shore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33607-4505 United States