Memorial Day is a notoriously dangerous time for motorcyclists across Alabama and the United States, and the recent holiday was only the first in a series of summer occasions that often lead to a spike in motorcycle fatalities. Per CBS News, the number of lives lost on motorcycles in the U.S. doubled between 2009 and 2015, and there are several factors that may be contributing to this increase.
Part of the problem is likely due to the fact that today’s motorcyclists and other motorists on the roadway have far more distractions fighting for their attention than those of the past. From texting behind the wheel to relying on in-vehicle navigation systems to get from here to there, today’s road travelers face new dangers that may prove especially dangerous for those travelling on two wheels. So much so, in fact, that the number of motorcycle fatalities per the number of miles travelled was 27 times higher for motorcycle riders than it was for those in regular passenger cars.
So, why, then are summers so dangerous for motorcyclists? Nationwide, more motorcycle riders are taking to the streets during the summer than in any other time of the year, and more drivers, too, are sharing the roads once schools let out for the season. Motorcyclists can improve their chances of avoiding becoming statistics by using common sense when operating their bikes, which might mean wearing proper head and eye protection, donning bright colors and staying vigilant when traveling through intersections. Statistics show that more than a third of all motorcycle deaths happen at intersections.
By taking proper precautions, Alabamans may be able to help cut back on the number of motorcyclist deaths that occur on state roadways in the years to come. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported 64 motorcycle fatalities on state roads in 2015.