Even though motorcycle riders in Missouri now have a few months of practice under their belts, they still need to ride with extreme caution this fall. The scary truth is that motorcycle accidents are often devastating no matter what time of year they occur.
Because of their small size and lack of safety features, a collision between a motorcycle and a car often leaves the motorcycle driver with serious or fatal injuries. According to a report that was released last month, serious and fatal motorcycle accidents appear to be on the rise.
Perhaps the main reason for this is that motorcycle riding also seems to be on the rise throughout the country, with more older and affluent riders choosing the less-traditional mode of transportation.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 5,000 people were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. That represented a 7.1 percent increase from the year before.
Injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents were also on the rise from 2011 to 2012. In the latter year, there were 93,000 motorcyclists injured in accidents, which was up from 81,000 injuries in 2011.
Finally, the report showed that there were an estimated 8.5 million motorcycles on the road in 2012, which was an increase from 8.0 million in 2009.
All too often, the public likes to place the blame for motorcycle accidents on the rider. However, in many cases, serious motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers who don’t see or fail to yield to motorcycles. An investigation is often needed to determine the true cause of a crash.
Under the law, motorcycles have the same right to the road as cars, and we need to remember that as a society.