Updated: December 5, 2023
The Hawaiʻi State Department of Transportation reminds all motorists, including those in vehicles and motorcycles, to share the road. The advice comes as the department observes Motorcycle Safety Month.
The Hawaiʻi State Department of Transportation reported that 13 individuals have died on state roadways while operating a motorcycle, motor scooter or moped since the beginning of 2023. At this time last year, there were eight fatalities of this nature recorded.
According to latest preliminary data, in 2022 there were 33 motorcycle, motor scooter and moped rider fatalities. This is 28% of all traffic related fatalities that occurred in 2022.
Of the 33 fatalities, 22 of the riders were not properly licensed, according to HIDOT. Preliminary toxicology results reveal that 18 of the riders tested positive for alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.
Single-vehicle crashes contributed to nine of 33 fatalities. Speed was a factor in 19 of these deaths, and only nine of 33 riders were wearing helmets at the time of their incident, according department reports.
The Hawaiʻi State Department of Transportation advises motorists to check mirrors and blind spots at least twice before merging or changing lanes, especially in heavy traffic. A motorcycle can easily be hidden behind another vehicle.
Motorists should allow for more following distance when traveling behind a motorcycle, so the rider has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. Riders may need to suddenly change speed or adjust position within a lane due to road and traffic conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces.
The Hawaiʻi State Department of Transportation advises motorcycle, motor scooter and moped riders to get licensed. If riders take the motorcycle safety course and pass, it may serve as a waiver for the road test.
Leeward Community College is the only State certified motorcycle safety range in the Hawaiʻi. For more information on motorcycle safety courses, visit the LCC website HERE.
Riders should wear appropriate, highly visibility protective gear and strategically use their lane position to see and be seen. It is illegal to ride between cars or use the roadway shoulders unless directed by police or roadway crew.
For more information related to the motorcycle driver’s manual and rules of the road, visit the state Department of Transportation website.