St. Louis Motorcycle Accidents a Risk as Summer Arrives

St. Louis Motorcycle Accidents a Risk as Summer Arrives

In Missouri and nationwide, motorcycle fatalities declined markedly in the first part of 2013, according to new data released by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

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Where the number of motorcycle deaths nationally fell by more than 7 percent from January through September of last year, it declined by 31 percent during the same time frame in Missouri, officials reported.

Missouri authorities say there were 90 motorcycle-related deaths in 2012, compared to 62 in 2013.

Our St. Louis motorcycle injury lawyers have reason to suspect these preliminary figures may be somewhat misleading. GHSA researchers caution that the numbers are not necessarily an indication of a dramatic drop, but rather represent a return to the norm after an unusually high number of deaths in 2012.

Nationally, the number of deaths involving motorcycle riders increased 9 percent from 2011. That increase represented the 14th time the number had risen since the mid-1990s. In Missouri, the total number of motorcyclists who lost their lives rose by 21 percent.

Reasons for the 2012 spike vary, and include the fact that the weather was unseasonably warm for a longer stretch of time. There was also the fact that gas prices shot up that year, which meant people were more inclined to use motorcycles as an alternate – and cheaper – mode of transportation.

There is already some indication that 2014 could see higher-than-normal number of motorcycle accidents, as riders are eager to get out after what was an especially brutal winter. When spring first broke in March, officials reported five motorcycle deaths in the course of just two weeks in the St. Louis region.

More recently in Granite City, officials reported two fatal crashes in as many days. The first was a 44-year-old rider who was killed when his bike collided with a tractor trailer on Missouri Avenue, just south of Route 3. The second incident involved a 51-year-old man who was killed on Oregon Avenue after apparently running into a curb.

Another motorcycle crash in Iron County resulted in severe injuries to a 61-year-old rider, whose bike ran off the road and overturned. He had to be transported by helicopter to a hospital in St. Louis.

Troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol say part of the problem is novice riders, many of whom are taking to the road for the first time in waves during the spring. Equally as dangerous, however, are distracted motor vehicle drivers, many of whom after a long winter are not accustomed to seeing bikers on the road.

Given that May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, federal transportation officials are urging all drivers to use greater caution this spring and into the summer. Motorists are encouraged to:

    • Give motorcycles the full lane width.
    • Be watchful of motorcyclists.
    • Always double-check for motorcycles in mirrors and blind spots, particularly when changing lanes, making a turn or at intersections.
    • Pay attention to the road and remain sober.

More Blog Entries:
Missouri Law Enforcement Crackdown on Distraction Behind the Wheel, April 14, 2014, St. Louis Injury Lawyer Blog

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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