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Motorcycle Safety

Fact and Figures

Yeah, it's a bunch of numbers. And when you're on your bike, it's the last thing you're thinking about. But, the more you know about your chances of crashing before you ride, the better off you'll be.

In 2017, there were 3,194 motorcycle crashes in PA.

3,053 were injured.

186 people died in motorcycle crashes, where 185 were motorcyclists.

Currently, based on vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are killed 27 times more often than car occupants (motorists). This understates the danger because the occupancy rate of cars is about 1.4 times that of motorcycles. When the occupancy rates are considered, motorcyclists are fatally injured an astounding 38 times more often than car occupants.

Another way to state the danger is that all other vehicles account for 99.4% of the vehicle miles traveled leaving only 0.6% of the miles traveled by motorcycles, yet motorcycle drivers account for 21% of all drivers killed!

MOTORCYCLES ARE ALMOST ALWAYS THE STRIKING VEHICLE.

Cars typically do not strike motorcycles! Incredibly, in 96% of fatal motorcycle crashes in the United States, the motorcycle is the striking vehicle (including single-vehicle crashes). This means we riders are going to have to slow down and learn to yield to other road users.

77% of multi-vehicle crashes occur in the 10, 11, 12, 1 and 2 o’clock positions of the motorcycle. This is the typical impact areas of a striking motorcycle that has not yet fallen over prior to impact.

SPEEDING CONTINUES TO BE A SIGNIFICANT FACTOR IN FATAL CRASHES.

Speed increases the chance of loss of control, as well as providing energy for injury. Ride at the suggested speeds. The roads are designed to have a minimum mishap rate for these suggested speeds.

HELMETS — IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE OR BRAIN SURGERY.

The fact is, helmets work. Riders who wear them are more likely to survive head injuries than ones who don't.

IMPAIRMENT CONTINUES TO BE A SIGNIFICANT FACTOR IN FATAL CRASHES.

It's already hard to operate a motorcycle, why make it harder?

Rider Safety Tips

SOME THINGS ARE BETTER LEFT UNSAID… THESE ARE NOT THOSE THINGS.

 Accordion ‭[1]‬



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Gear and Upkeep

 Accordion ‭[2]‬



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The Law

Pennsylvania law requires that any person who operates or rides a motorcycle must wear protective headgear unless they are 21 years of age or older AND has been licensed to operate a motorcycle for not less than two full calendar years OR has completed a motorcycle safety course approved by PennDOT.

  • Note: If an individual has a motorcycle learner's permit, a helmet must be worn regardless of age.
  • Note: The passenger of a person exempt from wearing a helmet can also go without a helmet if he or she is 21 years of age or older.

PA law mandates the use of eye protective devices for all motorcycle riders unless operating a motorized pedalcycle or a three-wheeled motorcycle equipped with an enclosed cab.