Motorcycle riders have no protection in a crash and are 30 times as likely to be killed and five times as likely to be injured if they crash on a motorcycle compared to crashing in a car. Far too many motorcycle accidents happen because drivers are not able to exhibit reasonable care when it comes to sharing the road with motorcycle riders.
Oklahoma has published a fact sheet on motorcycle crashes, showing the number of collisions as well as the number of fatalities. The number of motorcycle crashes went up between 2012 and 2013, the most recent year for which motorcycle accident data is available. Summer is a prime time when motorcycle collisions happen, and hopefully drivers and riders can do their part this year to make sure the accident rate drops instead of rising again.
Motorcycle Accident Risks for Oklahoma Riders
Throughout the state of Oklahoma in 2013, there were 87 fatal motorcycle accidents. This is up from 80 motorcycle collisions resulting in death the prior year. Fatal motorcycle crashes went up even as overall fatal motor vehicle crashes declined in the state. In 2012, there were 642 deadly accidents and in 2013, there were 621 deadly crashes statewide. While fatal motorcycle crashes made up 12.5 percent of deadly accidents in 2012, they accounted for 14 percent of fatal collisions over the course of 2013.
In the 87 fatal motorcycle accidents that happened in Oklahoma in 2013, there were a total of 92 people killed. This accounted for 13.6 percent of the 678 deaths in motor vehicle collisions statewide over the same year.
The crash rate in 2013 went up even as the number of registered motorcycle riders went down. In 2013, there were 126,882 registered motorcycle riders in the state. This was almost a one percent decrease compared with 127,679 registered motorcycle riders in the prior year.
The motorcycle death rate should not be going up when there are less riders on the road and less fatal collisions overall. Drivers and riders need to exercise more care on the roads so fewer people will die in crashes.
Drivers must share the road with motorcycle riders. This means not tailgating and leaving plenty of space for a motorcyclist. Drivers must recognize motorcycles are more affected when road conditions change and by leaving enough space, this provides motorcyclists more time to react to conditions which could be harmful. Drivers should also make sure to check twice for motorcycle riders before turning or before changing lanes, as motorcycle riders can be much harder to see. Drivers need to check their blind spots to be sure a rider is not in their path.
Motorcycle riders can do their part to try to stay safe as well. This means obeying the speed limit, making sure they use turn and hand signals, and leaving a safe following distance as well.
Both drivers and motorcycle riders should also practice general best practices for safety, including staying sober and avoiding distractions. Bringing the death toll down will take cooperation from all motorists on the road, but it is worth it to save the lives of motorcycle riders.