As summer travel season heats up, it’s expected a lot more cars will be on the road, as well as motorcycles. And with more vehicles, the chances of an accident increase.
Just this past Memorial Day weekend, 4 of 11 fatalities involved motorcycles. It would seem that trend is on the rise, but according to the Alabama Department of Transportation, over the past decade, the number of motorcycle deaths in accidents have decreased. Despite that, there are far more cars than motorcycles, and many drivers are still not used to seeing them on the road.
“A lot more people on the roads during the summer,” said Corporal Ryan Blakely, Mobile Police Dept.
And the leading reason police hear after a motorcycle accident?
“A lot of times we hear, I didn’t see them,” said Blakely.
Certainly a fair share of motorists miss the motorcycle operators, but at the same time, some riders may be inexperienced.
“I believe education is key to reducing motorcycle fatalities, and we don’t have the requirements in our state to have a motorcycle road test,” said Larry Lindsey, Alabama Motorcycle Safety Program Ride Coach.
It wasn’t until this year that the state required cyclists to obtain a designated license, which for now only requires a written test.
“The actual road test I believe will serve as a screening instrument to keep people off the road that aren’t quite ready to be out there,” said Lindsey.
For now efforts to get drivers to share the road may be the greatest tool in preventing accidents.
“The most common cause of a motorcycle crash and fatality is a left-hand turn in front of the rider.”
And that means it’s not just about looking twice, but training to look for any vehicle other than another car.
Lindsey says legislators are still considering introducing a bill that would make it the road test a requirement in the future.