Should Motorcycle Safety Be Added to Driver’s Ed?

As the the risks associated with motorcycle accidents continue to be discussed by lawmakers and safety advocates, legislators in other parts of the country consider adding motorcycle safety to be a formal part of driver’s education courses.

The proposal could make motorcycle safety an important part of the driver’s education in states like Illinois. But is it necessary?

If it passes, the bill will require that behind the wheel instruction includes lessons focused on motorcycle safety. Awareness is also a major issue for the lawmakers. According to them, students would have to have a better grasp of what it means to have responsibility over a vehicle. Learning about the many ways driving a car or riding a motorcycle can expose others and themselves to risks, experts say, would help to boost safety and ensure drivers know just how to avoid accidents.

Motorcycle fatalities continue to disturb and concern many lawmakers and safety advocates across the country.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 4,381 motorcyclists across the country have succumbed to deadly personal injuries in accidents in the year of 2013 alone. While the number of deaths has been declining since the early 1980s, deadly crashes still occur. It’s up to us—and lawmakers—to ensure this trend stops so that motorcyclists are safe.

What Do The Motorcycle Crash Numbers Say About The Risks?

The insurance group IIHS has collected some important data on motorcycle safety. Whether you’re a driver or a rider, knowing more about the risks and potential outcomes of negligence and distraction is important to ensure that your vehicle is not going to expose others to deadly risks.

The info gathered by IIHS indicated that the number of motorcycle-related accidents began to increase again in 1998. The increase continued until 2008. While deaths associated with these accidents dropped by 16 percent in 2009 when compared to the previous year, motorcycle deaths increased again in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Most recent data shows that the number of deadly crashes involving bikers decreased by 7 percent in 2013.

About 13 percent of all motor vehicle accidents that led to fatalities in 2013 involved motorcyclists. That adds up to the double of the number of motorcyclist deaths reported in the year of 1997. This increase in the number of deadly motorcycle crashes is concerning experts and lawmakers. In order to ensure that motorcyclists are safer and drivers are not ignoring some vulnerable subjects like bicycle and motorcycle riders, education should be the first target.

Most accidents involving riders are caused by drivers who are simply not paying attention. One of the most important things drivers and riders should learn while preparing to obtain a license is to drive defensively. Young and inexperienced drivers are some of the motorists who end up being exposed to distracted driving accidents more likely than older drivers. Being alert and focused on the road can help to keep the number of all kinds of accidents down.

To experts, the necessity of focusing on teaching motorcyclists about safety features could also save lives. According to IIHS, 49 percent of passengers killed in motorcycle accidents in 2013 did not have a helmet on at the time of the accident.


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