Iowa Reminds Motorcyclists of Riding Safely

May 9, 2005

The month of May has been designated as Motorcycle Awareness Month.

With summer just around the corner the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB), a bureau of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, is asking motorcycle riders and other motorist to be extremely cautious as the state begins to experience increased motorcycle traffic on Iowa’s highways.

Because motorcycle fatalities have reportedly nearly doubled in the last five years, GTSB has partnered with the Iowa Department of Transportation and motorcycle clubs in Iowa in an effort to heighten awareness on this issue and shares the following statistics;

* Iowa motorcyclists are 6 times more likely to be injured than other motorists.
* An average of more than 40 motorcyclists dies in motorcycle accidents each year in Iowa.
* 9 in 10 of Iowa ‘s motorcycle fatality victims were not wearing a safety helmet.
* Motorcyclists’ crash involvement is highest amongst Iowa riders between the ages of 15-24.
* Fatalities are increasing among Iowa riders age 45 and older.
* 1 of 2 fatal motorcycle crashes don’t involve another vehicle, the motorcyclist usually fails to maintain control of the motorcycle.
* 2 of 3 motorcycle-car cashes are caused by drivers of the car. The driver usually does not see the motorcycle in traffic.

Public Safety Commissioner Kevin Techau noted, “With the increased interest in motorcycle riding across the country we also see an unfortunate increase in the number of motorcycle related fatalities. Many of these fatalities are preventable. If you ride a motorcycle, please exercise caution, wear clothing that will stand out in traffic and wear a helmet. If you are driving a car or other vehicle, be aware of increased motorcycle traffic and look twice before pulling out from an intersection.”

In addition, the Governor’s Traffic Bureau is informing motorcyclists of a recent change in Iowa law that allows for a motorcycle to be equipped with a modulating headlight. This particular piece of equipment reportedly goes a long way to increase a motorcycles visibility in traffic.

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