Motorcycle riding comes with its own special risks. Seasoned riders know that small mistakes can quickly lead to serious injuries. Without the protective cocoon offered by a car or truck, motorcycle riders have a much greater chance of being killed or grievously injured in an accident.
Unfortunately, this message may not be coming through as clearly as it should be. Tennessee has seen a troubling increase in motorcycle accident deaths this year. As of mid-August, 89 motorcyclist have been killed in traffic accidents so far in 2012. At this time last year, only 78 had died.
The most recent fatality came late in the evening on Monday, August 13. A 27-year-old man was riding his motorcycle on Belmont Boulevard near Belmont University when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a light pole. Although he was wearing a helmet, he died at the scene of the accident.
Police believe the accident was caused by excessive speed on the part of the motorcycle operator.
Tennessee Motorcycle Safety
Although not every accident can be prevented, the risk of serious injury or death can be reduced by adhering to some basic safety tips. For example, riders should always ride at a reasonable speed that reflects the rider’s experience and road conditions. In addition, riders should never operate their motorcycles while under the influence of alcohol and should always wear a helmet and appropriate protective gear.
Good training can go a long way to help riders learn how to react to potentially dangerous situations. The Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security offers training courses designed to benefit beginning and experienced riders alike. Riders who have not yet taken one of these courses are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity.
Source: The Tennessean, “UPDATE: Speed factor in Monday night fatal motorcycle crash,” Duane Marsteller and Brian Haas, August 14, 2012.