Motorcyle Safety – Take It Seriously
Some of the most thrilling action movies involve motorcycles. Movies like Lords of the Flatbush, Easy Rider and probably the most classic of all time, The Wild Ones, starring Marlin Brando. Great movies, but none of them set a very good example for motorcyclists.
There are scenes of high-speed rides, the wind blowing in the driver’s face, hair flying and maybe a pretty girlfriend riding along. While great entertainment and exciting to watch, they do not portray the real facts about the dangers of motorcycle riding.
I’m certainly not against motorcycles, but I’ve seen enough of the injuries to heed some strong warnings. This is the time of the year when motorcyclists are out, accidents happen, and many of them are deadly.
Missouri Highway Patrol Statistics
According to the 2011 statistics from the Missouri Highway Patrol, of all fatal traffic crashes in that year, 11% involved a motorcycle. A total of 82 persons were killed and 2,166 injured. In fact, a person was killed or injured in a motorcycle crash every four hours.
What about helmets?
A motorcyclist not wearing a helmet is 40% more likely to die of a head injury, and that is the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents nationally. Missouri law requires motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear a helmet. In fact, for Missouri motorcycle drivers and passengers involved in an accident and not wearing a helmet, almost 36% were either killed or suffered major disabling injuries. The statistics are even higher in Illinois where helmets are not legally required.
Many of these crashes are preventable. Drivers were speeding in 48% of all fatal accidents and drinking was a factor in 22% of the crashes. Still, many more are the fault of other vehicles. The simple fact is that cars and trucks are much bigger than motorcycles and that dramatically increases the odds of death or injury.
Do not forget that we all share the road. While motorcyclists must drive with caution, those driving motor vehicles must be extra cautious when approaching or driving along side motorcyclists.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend 2013
There will be many motorists traveling this weekend. Enjoy the ride, but please do it safely.