Motorcyclists must be extra vigilant when driving on streets and highways. All it takes is one absent-minded, distracted or law-breaking motorist to disrupt a routine or joyful ride. What we continue to know is that other motorists often are not aware of motorcyclists. Sharing the road with all vehicles must become a mantra for all drivers.
Injuries from motorcycle accidents often are severe or fatal. When a motorcycle collides with another motor vehicle that significantly outweighs it, tragedy can occur, and lifelong injuries may result. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a total of 5, 172 motorcycle riders were killed on the road in 2017. Indiana accounted for 149 of those fatalities.
Be aware of road hazards at all times of day
Here are some additional statistics gleaned from the NHTSA related to U.S. motorcycle-related fatalities in 2017:
- Most motorcycle fatalities occurred during daylight. That number was 58%. An estimated 38% of the accidents occurred in the dark, 4% at dusk and 1% at dawn.
- A total of 23% of the motorcycles in fatal accidents collided with fixed objects such as walls, barriers, guardrails, light posts, telephone poles and buildings. This number accounted for the most of any vehicle type.
- Speeding among motorcyclists is another culprit and accounted for the highest percentage of fatalities compared with other motor vehicles. An estimated 32% of motorcycle riders in fatal accidents were speeding. Those numbers were 18% for passenger car drivers, 14% for light-truck drivers and 7% for large-truck drivers.
- Motorcyclists 40 and older accounted for 53% of motorcycle fatalities. A more thorough breakdown in descending order: 50 and older: 36.1%; 30 and under: 28.3%; people in the 30 to 39 age group: 18.4%; and the 40 to 49 age group: 17.1%.
- Alcohol continues to play a role in fatal accidents. Roughly 28% of the motorcycle riders were legally drunk and another 7% had lower levels of alcohol in their system. Alcohol was involved in a higher percentage of motorcycle fatalities than any other motor vehicle type.
Focusing on safety, the rules of the road and defensive driving are crucial for motorcyclists. Road safety seems to be eroding in the day of technology. Please be careful and have safe rides.