Death on Wheels
Even though lawmakers are cracking down on laws regarding motorcyclists, there are still thousands of people who die from motorcycle accidents each year. In a study funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, researchers found various causes for motorcycle related accidents.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are a number of factors that contribute to motorcycle accidents. One of the most significant and life threatening factors is alcohol. Regardless of drunk driving campaigns,1500 motorcycle riders are killed each year.
Speeding is another contributing factor in motorcycle crashes. Sometimes motorcyclists have an urge to put the pedal to the metal, but the end result could be deadly. For example, a motorcyclist could blow through a stop sign and cause a fatal accident. Motorcycles are also very sensitive, due to their small frame. Add speed into the mix and you’re in for a bad situation.
Negligence is another common culprit for motorcycle crashes and fatalities. Sometimes motorcycle riders put their ego above safety, by not wearing helmets. The good news is more and more states are reviewing and adopting safety legislation that mandates motorcycle riders to wear helmets. In a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covering 10 states, helmet use dropped from 99% to 5 %. Motorists including truck, car, and motorcyclists are also paying less attention to the road because they’re too busy texting, or flipping through their radio dials. As technology continues to evolve, you’ll notice a surge in distracted driving cases. In one year, 5,474 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers. In addition an estimated 448,000 were injured.
By the numbers
In data collected by the Federal Highway Administration, 13% of all traffic fatalities included motorcyclists. Though the number of motorcycle related deaths decreased by 16%, there are still growing concerns regarding motorcycle safety. The NHTSA reports 106,000 motorcycles were involved in crashes that included property damage in one year. It also found that motorcyclists were 39 times more likely to die in a crash than passengers of a car.
Keep your head in the game
Now that you know of the dangerous and potentially life threatening risks associated with motorcycles, you’re going to want to play it safe. If you are a motorcycle driver or rider, you should always wear a helmet. This is especially the case as head injuries are one of the leading causes of death in motorcycle collisions. The NHTSA found that helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcyclists. You can also reduce your recovery time, by simply putting on a helmet. According to the Traffic Safety Information Council, hospital stays are longer for motorists who do not wear helmets.
5 Tips to avoid and minimize the motorcycle accidents
There are simple steps any motorist can take to help reduce motorcycle accidents.
1. Motorcyclists can save their own life by putting on a helmet. Regardless of what the state law is, wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?
2. Watching the road
All motorists should be conscious of the road, but it’s especially important when you add motorcycles to the mix. Distracted drivers could take their eyes off the road for two seconds to send a text message, only to find their car slammed into a motorcycle. Keeping your eyes on the road can save lives, no matter what type of vehicle you drive.
3. Stop Speeding
Speeding plays a significant role in a majority of fatal crashes. You might think it’s cool to drive as fast as you can down the highway, but it won’t be so cool once you see your life flashing before your eyes. Slow down and be conscious of other motorists around you.
4. Dump the Drinks
The number of alcohol-related deaths is on the rise. This accounts for motorcycle drivers as well. If you plan on driving, then you should plan on being sober for the night. Always put safety first.
Motorcycle accidents decreased by 16 %, as reported by the NHTSA. This has been attributed to public safety awareness campaigns, among other factors. Education is an important tool for all drivers, especially when your talking about somebody’s life at risk.