A 23-year-old Specialist assigned to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, died in a PMV-2 mishap 4 May 2023, at 0540 local. The Soldier was riding his motorcycle in the Mendonca Park housing area, when he collided with a vehicle that was exiting the area. He was taken to the local hospital by ambulance where resuscitative efforts were unsuccessful. The Soldier had a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement, current registration, completed the USARHAW Basic RiderCourse, and was wearing all required motorcycle personal protective equipment.
Since FY18, the Army has lost an average of 24 Soldiers a year to PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 16th PMV-2 fatality of FY23 and below the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.
Nationally, according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation
Quick Tips: Ten things all car and truck drivers should know about motorcycles
1. Over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Most of the time, the car or truck driver, not the motorcyclist, is at fault. There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don't "recognize" a motorcycle – they ignore it (usually unintentionally).
2. Because of its narrow profile, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc.). Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you're changing lanes or turning at intersections.
3. Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it appears. It may
also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle to be closer than it
4. Motorcyclists often slow down by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not
activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.
5. Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind. Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off, to allow you to share the lane with them.
6. Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycle's signal is for real.
7. Maneuverability is one of a motorcycles better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with good road conditions, but don't expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.
8. Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly more difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because you can't always stop "on a dime."
9. When a motorcycle is in motion, see more than the motorcycle – see the person under the helmet, who could be your friend, neighbor, or relative.
10. If a driver crashes into a motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian and causes serious
injury, the driver would likely never forgive himself/herself.
Motorcyclists should – Drive Defensively:
- Be especially alert at intersections because approximately 70 percent of motorcycle-vehicle collisions occur there! Watch for vehicles that may unexpectedly turn in front of you or pull out from a side street or driveway. At intersections where vision is limited by shrubbery, parked vehicles, or buildings, slow down, make doubly sure of traffic, and be prepared to react quickly.
- Check the rearview mirrors before changing lanes or stopping. A quick stop without checking rear traffic may result in a rear-end crash. When changing lanes, use signals and make a visual check to assure that you can change lanes safely.
- Watch the road surface and traffic ahead to anticipate problems and road hazards. Road hazards that are minor irritations for an automobile can be a major hazard for a rider. Hazards include potholes, oil slicks, puddles, debris or other objects on the roadway, ruts, uneven pavement, and railroad tracks. Painted roadway markings and manhole covers can be extremely slippery when wet. Go around most hazards. To do so safely, you must be able to spot such hazards from a distance. Slow down before reaching the obstacle and make sure you have enough room before changing direction. Railroad tracks should be crossed at an angle as close to 90 degrees as possible.
- Experienced motorcyclists often have this advice for new riders: "Assume that you are invisible to other motorists and operate your motorcycle accordingly." Position yourself to be seen. Ride in the portion of the lane where it is most likely that you will be seen by other motorists. Avoid the car's "No Zone" (i.e., blind spot). Use your headlights, day and night. All motor vehicles have blind spots where other vehicles cannot be seen with mirrors.
- Tips provided by MSF.org and NHTSA