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Understanding Motorcycle Safety

There are more than 8 million registered motorcycles on American roads. The number of registered motorcycles has grown sharply in recent years. The increase means that motorcycle safety has never been more important.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. It is a good time to review basic motorcycle safety topics and encourage all motorists to be aware of the mistakes that often lead to serious injury. It is also a good time to dispel common myths about motorcycling that may increase the injuries and fatalities suffered by riders. The goal, one that should be shared by everyone, is to reduce accidents and make the roads safer for everyone. 

Roughly half of deadly motorcycle accidents happen when motorcycles collide with other vehicles. The most common type of fatal motorcycle collision involves cars turning left in front of oncoming motorcycles. A common refrain from drivers after these accidents is that they didn't see the motorcycle until it was too late.

In addition to inattentive drivers, two issues stand out when reviewing motorcycle safety: speed and alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around one-third of motorcycle deaths are caused by riders going too fast. Motorcyclists are also more likely than other drivers to crash because they drove drunk. Nearly 30 percent of motorcyclists in fatal crashes in 2014 had elevated blood alcohol levels. Riding at safe speeds and riding sober are vital to motorcycle safety.

Georgia requires helmets for people operating or riding on a motorcycle. The percentage of helmetless riders killed in motorcycle crashes is relatively low here. Even if the law is not enough to persuade you, it is important to know that helmets are necessary for safe motorcycling. Even the safest rider can't avoid accidents caused by negligent car and truck drivers Helmets are the best way to survive these unavoidable incidents.

Motorcycles have a number of benefits that cars cannot match. The popularity of motorcycles is not likely to wane anytime soon. If you are on the road, you need to be aware of all the vehicles around you, including those that go on two wheels.

Source: NHTSA, "May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month," May 2016 

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