Failure to wear helmets, protective boots and other protective gear, failure to dress in protective clothing or reflective clothing that’s visible to other motorists around you, and failure to take a safety training program – motorcyclists are failing on several counts, as a new Consumer Reports study shows us.
There was very little good news in the survey, but plenty of enthusiasm to go around. The study found that seven out of every ten riders believed that they were experienced motorcyclists, and had been licensed motorcyclists for the past five years at least. However, at least 10 of these admitted to having been involved in accidents over the last five years, and 50% said these were single vehicle crashes. One of the reasons contributing to these crashes could be that just half of the motorcyclists said they had taken a motorcycle safety course before they began riding.
As Indiana motorcycle accident lawyers, we found more depressing news from the survey. About one in every four riders still does not bother to wear helmets while riding. This was the one fact that really stood out in the entire CR report. Obviously, more education is needed to drive home the point that a motorcycle helmet could save your life. State highway safety agencies must reconsider how they can improve upon their motorcycle safety programs to increase helmet use.
A start would be for all states to mandate motorcycle helmets for all riders without any exemptions. That must be followed up with greater enforcement. It makes little sense that we demand seat belts for all motorists, but refuse to require motorcyclists to wear the one piece of protective gear that could save them from serious or fatal brain injury during a crash.
The study also revealed that very few motorcyclists bothered to make sure that they were visible in traffic by wearing highly visible clothing, or to cushion against injury by wearing protective leather jackets. As many as three out of every five riders admitted to riding wearing just shorts or short sleeved shirts.
Consumer Reports is calling for Antilock Braking Systems to be offered on all motorcycles. But these systems cost approximately $1,000, and are currently available on just a few models. Building motorcycles that are safer is great, but it makes more sense to focus harder on educating motorcyclists.