The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) was founded in 1924 and is the now the world's largest motorcycling advocacy group in the world. The association has more than 300,000 members and a motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickering, near Columbus.
The AMA is especially busy every year around this time, when it preaches the virtues of responsible driving and behaviors that help reduce motorcycle accidents in Ohio and nationally during May's Motorcycle Awareness Month.
The timing for such a commemoration and safety message is of course self-evident, with snow mostly melted away and bikers stalled by winter weather itching to get back out on streets and highways. Indeed, the sound of motorcycle engines is always a central reminder that summer is fast approaching.
If there is one overriding point that the AMA seeks to make each year at this time, it is this: Drivers of passenger vehicles, please be aware of motorcyclists and respect their right to use the road. Put another way, the AMA would like to see the mental checklist that every conscientious driver employs -- watch for other cars and trucks, and be on the lookout for pedestrians -- include a note to also watch for motorcycles.
Coupled with that of course is a reciprocal obligation of motorcyclists to know that they are often overlooked and need to do everything possible to guard against that while riding.
Most fundamentally, that means being maximally safe by wearing appropriate clothing -- most importantly, a helmet -- and by being a fully competent rider on a bike that is well-maintained.
Source: Motor Sports Newswire, "Motorcycle awareness urged by American Motorcyclist Association in May," May 1, 2013