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Motorcycle Awareness: Help Prevent Missouri Bike Crashes

Just about every worthy cause, and even some more mundane issues, have days, weeks or months dedicated to them. Motorcycle Awareness Month this May, however, is particularly important because the riding season is in full swing again.

Car and truck drivers in Kansas City and the rest of Missouri need to be reminded to see the motorcyclists who have every right to share the road. They need to be reminded of the severe injuries that motorcycle riders sustain when they are in accidents with larger vehicles. They need to be reminded to keep their eyes on the road and their minds on the task of driving.

Motorcycle accidents that happen with cars, SUVs and trucks most often occur because the driver did not notice the rider. This is partly due to the prevalence of distracted driving, but it is also because drivers simply need to be more aware of the people with whom they share the road.

Motorcyclists who are hit by negligent drivers can suffer a number of severe injuries, including broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, road rash and, in too many cases, wrongful death.

Missouri Motorcycle Accident Statistics Tell Sobering Story

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Statistical Analysis Center, only 1.6 percent of Missouri traffic accidents involved motorcycles - but 10.7 percent of fatal crashes involved motorcycles.

While the stereotype of the motorcyclist involved in a traffic crash is typically a young man, the average age of a Missouri motorcyclist in a crash was just over 40 years. The vast majority, however, were indeed men.

The good news is that motorcycle accidents, both fatal and nonfatal, have decreased in Missouri. The bad news is that some drivers of cars, SUVs and trucks continue to fail to see motorcycle riders.

With rising gas prices making motorcycle riding more attractive, motorcycle ownership and ridership are likely to increase. Missouri drivers should start seeing motorcycles, or the statistics will look even worse.

Source: mshp.dps.mo.gov

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