Alcohol and speed were factors in a recent Autauga County, Alabama, fatal motorcycle crash, again highlighting the importance of staying vigilant on the roadway during the spring and summer seasons now that motorcycles are increasingly taking to the streets. Per WSFA, statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation indicate that motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to die in accidents than motorists driving other types of vehicles, further driving home the importance of donning protective gear.
To date this year, Alabama State Troopers saw 87 non-fatal injuries result from motorcycle crashes within state borders, and 12 motorcyclists have lost their lives on Alabama’s roadways. Of those 12 fatalities, eight resulted from single-vehicle crashes. Nationally, alcohol is a major contributing factor to motorcyclist fatalities, with drinking and driving linked to 43 percent of motorcycle deaths from coast to coast.
Safety advocates note that there are measures motorcyclists can take to enhance their chances of avoiding injuries and accidents, and that the state, too, has taken steps to improve safety for riders. To legally ride in the state, motorcyclists must receive a motorcycle endorsement, and the only method of doing so involves passing written tests demonstrating a rider’s ability. State laws also require that bikers don helmets approved by the Alabama Department of Transportation.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are also certain behaviors in addition to drinking and driving that are causing many of the nation’s motorcycle crashes. Speeding was a factor in more than 30 percent of all fatal biker-involved accidents in 2015. Additionally, more than a quarter of the nation’s bikers who lost their lives in accidents in 2015 were riding without licenses.