As spring approaches and the weather warms up, we begin to see an increase of motorcycles on Missouri roads. Unfortunately, it also means an increased risk of motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycles are some of the most vulnerable vehicles on the road, and accidents typically result in more catastrophic injuries. As a rider, it is important to understand the behaviors that cause accidents and what you can do to stay safe.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in the U.S. 4,976 people died in motorcycle crashes in 2015, up 8.3 percent from the previous year. Motorcycle accident injuries were at approximately 88,000 in 2015. Cumulative data from 2016 will no doubt be similar, although it has yet to be released.
Below are some rider behaviors and safety issues that contribute to crashes, and what you can do to prevent them.
Alcohol and drugs
According to the NHTSA, 27 percent of riders involved in fatal accidents had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. Motorcycle safety can be greatly increased by refraining from alcohol or drug use.
In 2015, 33 percent of riders in fatal motorcycle crashes were speeding. Slowing down and adhering to posted speed limits will help with safety on the roads.
The NHTSA reports that motorcycle helmets saved 1,772 lives in 2015. In Missouri, helmet use is required for all riders and passengers.
In 2015, 27 percent of riders in fatal accidents did not have a proper motorcycle license. Obtain motorcycle training and licensing before you ride to increase your safety and skills.