Can Motorcycle Crash Deaths Be Reduced in Alabama?

The nation’s highway traffic deaths are on the decline, and in Alabama that decline began in 2008.  However, although traffic deaths in general in Alabama  are on the decline, motorcycle deaths are not declining, but instead are staying at a fixed level.  According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, no gains were made in reducing motorcycle deaths on Alabama highways in 2011.

Alabama officials reported that in 2011 there were 891 traffic deaths in the state and that 96, eleven percent, were from motorcycle crashes and added that the victims ranged in age from 9 to 75.  A motorcyclist, and this includes both rider or passenger, is estimated to be approximately 36 times more likely than car occupants to die and nine times more likely to be injured in a traffic accident. 

Officials had hoped that by proclaiming May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month”, and by educating the public on the leading causes of motorcycle crashes, and also by heightening the awareness of the importance of “sharing the road”,  that motorcycle crashes and fatalities would decrease on Alabama roads.  Unfortunately, this is not the case. 

On a positive note, Alabama is one of twenty states that requires motorcycle riders to wear protective headgear that complies with established standards, and riders are also required to be wearing shoes when operating or riding a motorcycle. 

So what’s the answer to reducing these deaths on Alabama highways?  If you would like to share your opinions or ideas on this subject, you can by calling in and talking with Ginny McDonald, columnist for the Birmingham News, and telling her what you would do to solve this problem on her weekly live chat on Monday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.  By sharing your ideas, opinions, or examples of motorcycle accidents you have witnessed, or even been in, we can perhaps find a way to reduce motorcycle crash deaths on Alabama highways.