As the warmer months approach, this is the perfect time to break out the old convertible or take your motorcycle for a spin. However, motorcycle collisions are some of the most dangerous accidents on the road. Sunshine or rain, safety should always be your top priority. Motorcycles provide less protection than cars, require more specialized skill, and easily fit into the blind spots of other drivers. In Arkansas, we have seen a steady incline in the number of motorcyclist fatalities over the past 4 years. With the risk of being involved in a fatal crash on the rise, it is important to practice safe driving at all times, whether you’re driving a car or a motorcycle. So, enjoy the warm weather, and follow these tips to practice safe motorcycling:
- Wear a helmet. According to the Arkansas State Police Annual Report for 2015, the majority of motorcyclist fatalities over the previous 5 years involved drivers who neglected to wear a helmet. Although it is not illegal in the state of Arkansas to operate a motorcycle without a helmet, it is extremely dangerous. In 2014, 36 of the 61 motorcyclists who died in collisions were not wearing helmets. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle helmets saved 1,772 lives across the nation in 2015.
- Drive sober. The dangers of driving while intoxicated increase when operating a motorcycle. According to the NHTSA, 27% of all motorcyclists who died in collisions across the nation in 2015 had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more at the time of the wreck. Because driving a motorcycle takes a certain level of specific skill, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can greatly increase your risk of having an accident.
- Drive responsibly. According to the NHTSA, 33% of motorcyclists who died in collisions in 2015 were driving above the speed limit, in contrast with only 19% of passenger car drivers. Furthermore, 27% of motorcyclist fatalities involved drivers without a valid license. Receiving proper training and driving under the speed limit are both key factors to motorcycle safety.
- Keep your motorcycle maintenance up-to-date. The model of your motorcycle may greatly increase your risk of being involved in a fatal collision. According to a 2007 report from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, motorcyclists driving “super-sport” bikes are 4x more likely to be involved in a fatal crash. Furthermore, installing an Antilock Braking System (ABS) can protect you from undue harm. Stopping a motorcycle is more difficult than stopping a car; an ABS can decrease your risk of being involved in a fatal crash by 37%.
As the weather gets warmer, concerns of motorcycle safety are even more relevant. This season, get out and enjoy the beauty of the Natural State – but don’t forget to keep your eyes open for motorcycles. And if you’re driving one, always make safety your top priority!
If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle collision, contact a Jonesboro motorcycle accident attorney at Wells & Wells. Free consultations and at-home appointments available.