The past week in the St. Louis area has been deadly for motorcyclists. Two individuals were killed when they collided with a school bus in Wentzville, another individual was killed when he failed to negotiate a turn on an off ramp from eastbound 270 in Madison County, Illinois and a Dittmer man was killed after his motorcycle crashed into the back of a dump truck that slowed in Jefferson County, Missouri.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while vehicle related crashes that involve automobiles and light trucks have declined to an all-time low, the number of deaths resulting from motorcycles have more than doubled between 1999 and 2008, and are at an all-time high. During that period, more than 34,000 individuals were killed with another 1.2 million persons injured.
More people are riding motorcycles than ever before and the CDC recommends the following safety tips:
- Always wear a department of transportation approved helmet. Helmets save lives. While state laws vary, wear a helmet whether that state requires one by law or not.
- Driving while intoxicated is a recipe for tragedy whether in an automobile or motorcycle. If you have been drinking, call a taxi or arrange another ride home. Don’t let friends drive impaired either.
- Wear protective clothing to provide some level of injury protection. Also wear bright or reflective materials on your upper body so that other vehicles can see you.
- Avoid tailgating.
- Maintain safe speeds and exercise additional caution on slippery or gravel surfaces.