Why are Motorcycles Fatalities on the Rise?

by goose575 on October 18, 2012

While road safety agencies such as individual state’s department of transportation (DOT) have been working towards reducing the total number of accidents on the road, however motorbike accidents seems to be eluding answers. Lawmakers and enforcement agencies have certainly been working hard to ensure higher safety standards. The results are visible in more general awareness of road safety rules and a reduction in auto accidents as a general trend – except for motorcycle accidents. Instead of decreasing, motorcycle collisions seem to be on the rise and the numbers appear in stark defiance of all the road safety rules and regulations that are being nailed into place.

Significant disparity in improvement levels

Improvement in motorcycle accident numbers can be seen in twenty three states of the US. These have invariably been the ones that have actively implemented motorcycle safety rules including the helmet. Strict enforcement of the law has resulted in reduction in motorbike rates. But the other states have shown a reverse in rates. Escalating motorcycle accidents in these states have become a cause for concern.

Why have other States shown a reversal in accident rates?

Alarming statistics indicate that motorcycle casualties in 2011 outnumbered those in 2010 in many states. Reasons can be traced to inefficient implementation of safety regulations for bike riders or lack of training facilities that prepared them for bike riding. While automobiles and trucks can be remodeled to incorporate multiple safety features that make them safer, there is not much that can be added onto motorcycle design that can make them safer than before.

Factors that trigger motorcycle fatalities

The main reason for motorcycle accidents did not involve the rider but were caused by other vehicles on the road. Side-swiping, swerving and making sudden lane changes all counted as factors that lead to motorcycle accidents. The truth is that motorcyclists are often seriously injured even when they happened to be riding at low speeds.

Another reason for the rising motorcycle fatalities was driving under the influence of alcohol. Drunken driving was identified as another major cause. But the main reason was the negligence of wearing protective equipment for the head, namely helmets. As many as 822 riders lost their lives because they did not wear a helmet. The lawmakers must consider a stricter law enforcement strategy that makes helmets compulsory for people wanting to ride bikes, irrespective of their age.

Is the number of increasing motorcyclists on the road a cause for accidents?

On the face of it, there appears to be no relation between the number of riders and the accident rate. Some states have even reported a decrease in motorcycle riders. The more important factor seems to be negligence of gear that could save your life in the event of an accident.

Riders must be trained to recognize the benefits of wearing a helmet. Even in the absence of a strict law, riders must be motivated enough to wear a helmet every time they want to take to the road on their bikes. Helmets need to attract more than their current share of attention.

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