Getting ready to rev up your engine and head out for a drive along the scenic Missouri bluffs or the Great River Road? Motorcycle safety should be first on your list!
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports an increase in motorcycle fatalities since 2014. (report updated in 2017 from 2015 data)
Missouri only saw a 3% increase unlike her neighbors in Illinois and Arkansas.
What is most alarming is the number of fatalities reported due to lack of a proper motorcycle helmet.
Another whopping 27% of 2015 motorcycle fatalities were those who had not been properly licensed! The failure to be licensed properly could be chalked up to a number of reasons.
Around the small, rural town where I live, older folk on a fixed income use scooters or mini-bikes to run their errands around town. They’re supposed to have a license for their scooters — maybe even get insurance on the vehicle. Do they all comply? I doubt it. A few even ride their electric wheelchairs to the grocery store (though this type of “vehicle” would not be listed in the NHTSA data).
Once upon a time (true story) a teen relative of mine saved up for his very first motorcycle. Since he lived on a farm, he could easily ride through the back fields without getting his license. However, on the ONE day he decided to do a u-turn on the paved road in front of his house, a lurking officer pulled him over and ticketed him. His neighbors were probably the guilty “snitches”, but this ticket possibly saved him from a foolish, fatal accident.
If you’re a seasoned biker or the proud new owner of a motorcycle, here are a few motorcycle safety statistics and tips to help as you plan your next trip.
- Choose the right helmet to protect from serious brain injury.
According to the NHTSA, you need to wear a DOT-compliant Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 helmet. It will be clearly marked as such on the outside back of the helmet. This short video is very helpful.
- Another feature that is vital to motorcycle safety is a face shield to protect from wind and flying debris. You could be blinded or suffer a serious eye injury without a shield on your helmet.
Do a routine motorcycle safety check on your bike before you ride.
- Tire pressure (adjust for extra weight, such as a passenger or luggage)
- Hand and foot brakes working properly
- Headlights, tail-lights, and signals in good working order
- No leaking fluids such as oil or gas
- Proper fluid levels
- Wear protective clothing. Heavy denim or leather, gloves, long pants, sturdy foot wear that covers the ankles are all good motorcycle safety protocol. HOWEVER, make sure you wear bright or reflective jackets. It’s safer to cover that cool leather or denim jacket with a bright safety vest.
- AVOID alcohol or drug usage while driving. Even though this seems like a
“no-brainer”, the staggering statistics don’t lie. Almost half of motorcycle fatalities in 2015 were due to an alcohol-impaired motorcycle driver.
Finally, enjoy this fantastic guide to the best Missouri motorcycle rides.
Motorcycle accidents also happen due to negligent drivers. If you or a loved one is suffering injuries (often severe) resulting from a negligent driver, you need expert and aggressive legal help.
Call Missouri motorcycle accident attorney Nathan A. Steimel today for a free initial consultation. 636-244-3737
This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.