Driving Under the Influence Impacts Motorcycle Safety
Ah, the enviable motorcycle lifestyle. There’s something about being king of the open road, being in control of a powerful piece of equipment, and not being tethered to a car like your daddy drove.
Every curve in the road reminds you of the babes who admire your machinery. Life is good and a few beers or shots along the way only make motorcycle life better. Put on the brakes, man.
Recent alcohol statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) prove otherwise. Did you know that motorcyclists who have any alcohol in their body increase their chances of motorcycle accidents by five times? Having a blood alcohol content greater than 0.05% increases a motorcycle accident about 40-fold. In almost 50 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents, the motorcyclist drank alcohol. One fourth of all fatal alcohol-related motorcycle crashes involve motorcyclists running off the road, overturning, or falling from their motorcycles.
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Alcohol greatly impairs a motorcyclist’s ability to search for and evaluate hazards that might lead to trouble. Even one beer can impair your vision, your decision-making ability, and definitely slow down to dull your coordination-reaction time. Motorcyclists should never feel mentally relaxed. A mind without alcohol will be astute and acutely aware of what’s going on and how to circumvent any emergencies. Drinking may give motorcyclists a false sense of bravado but without the judgment to back it up.
No one advocates drinking and driving but even though there are more passenger vehicles on the road, motorcyclists have the highest percentage of driving while intoxicated.
In recent years, there has been a dramatic jump in the number of deaths among motorcyclists who are 40 years and older. The confident male ego has weathered many challenges and may not fully reckon with the challenge of motorcycle safety. Who me? Are you talking to me?
Motorcycles are less crashworthy than closed vehicles. Operating a motorcycle requires a different combination of physical and mental skills than those used in driving four-wheel vehicles. Motorcyclists who ride for recreation vs. day-to-day may be unaware of the different skill set required. Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to weather hazards and road conditions than drivers in closed vehicles. Maybe your daddy was on to something.
Life in the Fast Lane: Motorcycle Accidents and Baby Boomers
The mystique of the motorcycle continues to attract male thrill seekers and men over 40 and 50 who are looking to experience the freedom of the road.Exploiting the cool factor associates motorcycles with perpetual youth and disposal income, two traits baby boomers have never been shy about pursuing as 66 percent of all motorcycle riders are over 40 years old.
The classic motorcycle film, Easy Rider, has left a major imprint on our psyche while the recent Wild Hogscemented the reality that if average guys like Tim Allen and John Travolta could ride – then anyone could ride. Perhaps it’s an example of midlife madness reaching out for yet another brass ring.
As weekend bikers leave their Lexus SUVs in the garage to ride the wild wind with similarly educated joes—motorcycle accidents are on the rise. 80 percent of all motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist. The number of motorcyclists 45 and older killed in crashes nearly quadrupled from 2001 to 2005. Oddly, the number of crashes among younger motorcyclists remains steady.
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At a time in life when baby boomers are thinking about improving their health and financial portfolios and questioning their own mortality; it appears contrary to the lifecycle to take a risky ride on the wild side but that is precisely what is happening.
The question remains: Why are there so many motorcycle accidents with baby boomer motorcycle drivers? Perhaps baby boomers have always lived life in the fast lane as radical risk takers and may not be taking the precautions they should. Perhaps baby boomers live for immediate gratification and taking time to learn the intricacies of their slick new powerful toy is taken for granted. And just perhaps, baby boomers are slower to react; more impaired from alcohol and prescription drugs; and not as physically fit as they once were.
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Have you or a loved one has been seriously injured from a motorcycle accident? Has a loved one died from a fatal motorcycle accident? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a motorcycle accident case or wrongful death lawsuit. Please contact Monheit Law with law firm with offices in Pennsylvania to find out what your legal options are. There is no cost to talk to a lawyer.