The number of people killed or injured in motorcycle accidents is actually down over recent years, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2013, which is the latest year for which complete information is available, 4,668 died and 88,000 were injured in motorcycle incidents, compared to 4,986 killed and 93,000 injured in 2012. Here are 4 tips to help you avoid becoming part of the statistics for this year, brought to you by the San Diego car insurance experts at American Tri-Star.
1. Wear a Helmet
Head injuries are the leading cause of death for motorcycle riders. The NHTSA estimates for every 100 motorcycle drivers killed without helmets, 37 might have been saved if they did wear the life-saving devices. For motorcycle passengers who were killed, 41 out of 100 might have been saved. Make sure your helmet fits well and doesn’t obstruct your vision.
2. Avoid Drinking and Driving
Drinking before riding a motorcycle can be even more dangerous than getting behind the wheel of a car, as riding requires making split-second decisions with precision. About 28 percent of those who died in motorcycle accidents had a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, and about 7 percent had a BAC of between 0.07 and 0.08. On weekend nights, 63 percent of those killed in crashes were alcohol-impaired.
3. Slow Down to at or Below the Speed Limit
This is especially important when reaching curves. The faster you go when driving a motorcycle, the greater chance of upsetting your weight distribution or messing with your traction. About 34 percent of all motorcyclists who were implicated in fatal crashes were speeding, which compares to only 21 percent of those driving passenger cars.
4. Avoid Driving Unless You Have a License
Not having a license likely means you have not yet learned to drive a motorcycle properly and passed a driving test or you have had your license revoked. Either situation can lead to unsafe motorcycle riding conditions. About 25 percent of those involved in fatal crashes did not have valid motorcycle licenses during their crashes, compared to only 13 percent of passenger car drivers in fatal crashes. The NHTSA estimates motorcyclists are 1.2 times more likely than car drivers to have suspended or revoked licenses.
Stay safe anytime you take your motorcycle on the road because you never know what obstacles may come your way, and make sure you have the best insurance in case an accident does happen. If you’re looking for cheap motorcycle insurance in San Diego, give American Tri-Star a call at 619-272-2100 for a free quote. One of our customer service reps can help you find the right insurance for your needs.