There seem to have been a lot of fatal motorcycle crashes reported in the area lately. I decided to research the statistics to see whether there indeed have been more or if they are just getting more media coverage. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) collects all types of data on such incidents, including causes of death.
The CDC counted 13 motorcycle/moped deaths in Allen County in 2012 by summer (http://www.cdc.gov). Compare this to 6 motorcycle/moped deaths in 2010 and 14 in 2011.
Parkview's Trauma Department reports similar trends in the number of motorcycle trauma patients treated.
2010 - 68 motorcycle traumas
2011 - 82 motorcycle traumas
2012 - 84 motorcycle traumas treated at Parkview/PRMC to date.
If the current trend continues, our community is looking at a record number this year. What steps can we do to prevent this?
A focus on safety among riders and awareness among motorists seems to be the key.
- Here's a video with top five safety tips.
- Helmets - Indiana motorcyclists aren’t required by law to wear a helmet. Statistics tell us that 63% of motorcycle/moped deaths involve riders without helmets. Motorcyclists should always wear helmets and carry an extra for passengers.
- Protective clothing - leather pants, leather jacket and gloves are a good idea.
- Inspection - give your bike a once-over to make sure the lights, turn signals and brakes are working.
- Safety course - The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers links to Basic Rider Courses throughout Indiana.
- The American Biker's Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) offers basic and experienced rider courses and license testing locations.
- Use extra caution when you see a motorcycle/moped.
- Don't tailgate and double-check before changing lanes and when you are at an intersection. According to Allstate, 46% of motorcycle accidents happen at an intersection.
Never too soon to learn
- Parents of young moped/dirt bike/motorcycle riders can suggest a safety class like that offered by American Bikers Aimed Towards Education (ABATE) at (800) 232-2283.
- Parents of young children can start teaching about helmet safety by wearing helmets themselves. As the children grow, parents can introduce them to bike safety fairs throughout the area.
- 1. McMillen Health Center posts links to articles on bike safety at www.mcmillencenter.org. (Click on Links – Kids Health – Parents’ – First Aid & Safety.)
- 2. Safety Village hosts bike rodeos and training on bicycle riding. Call (260)427-1241 for details.
Let's keep bikers on our radar.