A Specialist assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas, died in a PMV-2 mishap 30 September 2020 in El Paso, Texas, at 2238 local. The Soldier suffered fatal injuries when his motorcycle was struck by another vehicle that ran a red light. He was pronounced dead by the medical examiner’s office. The Soldier was wearing all required personal protective equipment but was counseled by the unit commander not to ride, and not authorized to ride a motorcycle. He did not complete the required Motorcycle Safety Foundation BasicRider Course (BRC-I). The involvement of alcohol is unknown at this time. The mishap is under investigation.
Since 2016, the Army has lost an average of 28 Soldiers a year to PMV-2 mishaps. This is the 22nd PMV-2 fatality of FY20 and below the number of fatalities for the same time period the previous year.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Car Drivers:
Driving with a motorcycle near you isn’t like driving with other cars. Motorcycles are often smaller and harder to see, plus they don't have the safeguards of metal framing, seatbelts, or airbags when it comes to protection from collision. That's why drivers sharing the road with motorcycles need to be extra careful so everyone arrives at their destination safely.
Here are some important ways drivers can observe motorcycle safety:
- Always signal, check mirrors, and check blind spots. These behaviors are good habits to begin with, and they are doubly important when sharing the road with motorcycles. Because they are more compact, motorcycles may go unnoticed in a casual glance before a lane change, especially in low light or bad weather.
- Large vehicles, watch out! If you are driving a big truck or a van, you already know that your vision can be limited. Your blind spots are larger than those of other vehicles, making it harder to see smaller cars and motorcycles around you. Be cautious when making turns or changing lanes by keeping in mind that a biker might be harder to see.
- Give them the whole lane. You may think that because motorcycles are smaller and don't take up the entire lane, it's alright to pass them in the same lane. Think again. Give a bike the full lane, the same way you would any other car and driver.
- Treat motorcycle turn signals with caution. If you approach a motorcycle with an activated turn signal, wait for a moment to see what they'll do. Unlike cars, most motorcycle signals often aren't self-cancelling, so the driver has to remember to manually turn the signal off. Give yourself and the motorcyclist a moment to ensure they are actually turning.
- Give motorcycles extra following and passing distance. Many motorcyclists often slow down by only rolling off the throttle or downshifting (instead of outright braking), so you may not always see brake lights to alert you of a bike's stop. Allow for three to four seconds of following time for motorcycles, and always assume a bike will brake when approaching a stop at an intersection. Drivers who cut off or unintentionally pull in front of a motorcycle without allowing enough space can force the rider to over-brake, slide and fall.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Bikers:
Bikers themselves should always make sure to take precautions of their own, including wearing the right gear and riding in the right part of the lane. For more motorcycle driving tips visit https://safety.army.mil/OFF-DUTY/PMV-2-Motorcycles