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.
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month doesn't start until May, but the season has arrived for many riders happy to see an end to winter weather. The majority of collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles are caused by the non-rider. While rider training and safety efforts including mandatory helmet laws can make a difference, the real key to reducing motorcycle accidents is awareness from other drivers. If you are on the road, you need to be aware of all other vehicles, including the two-wheeled variety.
While there have been steady decreases in the number of fatal car accidents over the past 15 years, motorcycle deaths have refused to follow suit. With the numbers tallied for 2013, that trend may finally be corrected. For the second time since 1997, the total number of motorcycle fatalities dropped from the previous year's total. In 2013, motorcycle deaths were down 6.4 percent. That decrease was more than double the gains made in overall traffic fatalities throughout the country.
A drop in motorcycle fatalities in 2013 is being attributed to bad weather, rather than to a safer environment for motorcyclists in a report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association. After increasing by more than 7 percent from 2011 to 2012, motorcycle fatalities dropped 7 percent in 2013. Unfortunately, what appears to be a safety gain might be entirely the result of fewer miles driven by motorcyclists due to inclement weather. The GHSA report concluded that 2013 marks the 15th consecutive year of stagnant motorcycle safety numbers.