With gas prices as high as we have ever seen them, more people are using motorcycles as their main form of transportation. Josh Stevenson has more in today's Safe Family report.
According to the federal highway administration there were 6.2 million motorcycles on the road in 2005, and with the rising cost of fuel, that number has increased.
While motorcycles only account for 3% of vehicles on the road, they make up 8% of accident fatalities. Mile for mile, someone on a motorcycle is 35 times more likely to die in a crash.
"Most of your motorcycle accidents are going to be a result of people who just don’t see the bike," Sgt. Bruce Dawsey of the Sherman Police Department says.
Motorcyclists can increase their visibility by wearing bright colors and keeping their headlights on at all times.
“Most of the people who ride them will tell you it’s defensive driving 100% of the time. You have to be aware of your surrounding. You have to be aware of the drivers around you,” Sgt. Dawsey says.
With the risks being so much greater on a motorcycle, having the right safety equipment is critical.
"Helmets are the key to motorcycle safety," Dawsey says.
According to government sources, helmets saved the lives 1,658 people in 2006 alone. 758 more lives could have been saved if every motorcyclist would have been wearing a helmet.
"I know a lot of people don’t think it’s cool to wear a helmet on a motorcycle, but you don’t want to be one of those individuals with significant head trauma," said Dawsey.
For more, check http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/msb/web-cyc.htm