The number of St. Louis area motorcycle accidents have increased as the Missouri weather warms and more motorcycle riders take to the roads. The news reports in the St. Louis area have reported numerous deadly accidents in the previous few weeks. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety statistics, motorcycle deaths do rise during the months of April through October, with more occurring on Saturday and Sunday than any other day of the week. It can be inferred from these statistics that most riders involved in these crashes are recreational riders. Thirty percent of the fatalities involved alcohol.
Missouri requires all motorcycle riders to wear helmets while riding. However, not all riders follow this law. Last year, there was a movement to repeal this law, but Governor Nixon vetoed the bill, citing safety concerns. In states where helmet laws have been repealed, deaths from motorcycle crashes have rose sharply in the years following the repeal. Many states only require helmets on riders under a certain age, which varies by state. For more on motorcycle helmet laws in other states, click here.
In 2008, 5,091 motorcycle riders were killed as a result of accidents nation wide. Since 1997, motorcycle deaths have doubled. As of 2007, the rate of death on a motorcycle was 37 times that of the death rate from automobile accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to remind not only motorcycle drivers, but all others on the roadway to be aware of motorcycles on the road. Many motorcycle accidents involve other vehicles, so it is imperative that all drivers be alert to motorcycles on the road.