Motorcycle ridership tends to peak in the summer due to the more favorable riding conditions in most of the U.S. But in North Carolina, there are usually many riders in other seasons of the year as well.
It’s true that, in summertime, there are more vehicles of all types on the road. Kids are on break from school, and there are often vacationers and tourists out and about. The increased traffic often leads to more motor vehicle accidents. Some of the most deadly of these are motorcycle accidents.
According to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, over 4,000 people were killed in motorcycle crashes last year. This was the second year with a recorded decline in motorcycle fatalities following 11 straight years of rising deaths.
A recent study by the U.S. Air Force Safety Center found that three of the deadliest months for riding a motorcycle are June, July and August. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 37 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of a passenger car.
Most motorcyclists are aware of the dangers that biking can present and take steps to combat these dangers.
Though not all states require motorcyclists to wear helmets, it is definitely a good idea to always wear a properly fitting helmet. The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,829 motorcyclists from sustaining injuries that would have killed them in 2008.
Driving defensively, driving sober, checking your brakes and tires, wearing the correct gear, and learning how to safely stop your bike quickly are all recommended ways to stay safe out on the road this summer.
However, motorcyclists can only do so much. Traffic safety advocates ask that drivers of all vehicles commit to making U.S. roads safer by keeping on the lookout for motorcycles, slowing down when near or when passing motorcycles and looking hard when crossing through an intersection.