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Motorcycle Safety Campaign Has Blunt Message

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has a brutal new slogan for its motorcycle safety campaign: Read the Road. And You Won't Need as Many New Parts. Collisions between cars and motorcycles are particularly deadly. They are also frequently the result of errors made by the driver of the car, rather than mistakes by the rider. That said, the truth is that many deadly motorcycle accidents are single vehicle incidents. Riders who lose control of their motorcycles suffer broken bones, head trauma and worse. The campaign urges riders to be mindful of road conditions that contribute to these one-vehicle accidents.

When the final tally is released, it is likely that there will have been fewer motorcycle fatalities in 2014 than in 2013. The decrease is relatively minor, however, and is being attributed largely to weather and economic factors. The risk factors faced by riders are the same as in previous years. Those risk factors include the use of alcohol or drugs before riding, driving faster than is safe given the road conditions, inexperience and lack of safety training and motorists who do not share the road properly with motorcyclists. 

Alcohol and speed are common factors in all categories of traffic accident, but they are particularly common in motorcycle crashes. More than one-third of riders killed in motorcycle crashes were speeding at the time. More than a quarter had blood alcohol concentrations over the legal limit. The reduction or elimination of these safety hazards would go a long way to improving the grim number of motorcycle deaths each year.

Source: Chrome & Clutch, "Two views on motorcycle safety say the same thing," by Digits, 10 July 2015 

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