Motorcycle dealers have seen a dramatic increase in the number of new motorcycle sales. With oil prices nearing $100 per barrel new unit sales of motorcycles have increased 24 percent since the last decade. In fact, new motorcycle sales annually top 1 million units.
Unfortunately, with the increase in sales comes an increase in the number of motorcycle crashes and fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 76,000 motorcyclists were injured and 4008 died in crashes in 2004. That number makes up approximately 9 percent of U.S. traffic fatalities in 2004. Further statistics showed that motorcyclists were 32 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than the drivers of other vehicles. Thankfully, according to estimates by the NHTSA, helmets saved approximately 1300 motorcyclists from fatal head injuries in 2004.
Here are some useful tips to help you stay safe while riding your motorcycle.
1. Leave plenty of space between you and all other vehicles.
2. Anticipate trouble situations and understand what to do when faced with such a situation.
3. Pay attention to vehicles intending to turn left after intersections. This is the leading cause of injuries to motorcyclists.
4. Never drink or take drugs and then drive a motorcycle.
5. Know your limitations as a driver.
6. Be cautious when taking curves that you cannot see around. There could be an obstruction in the road.
7. Consider taking a motorcycle safety class to gain a better understanding of motor cycle safety.
8. Always choose to wear a helmet.
While not all motorcycle accidents can be prevented, following these useful tips can help you become a safe rider and continue to enjoy the feeling of being on the open road.