Missouri State Highway Patrol reports increase in motorcycle fatalities; speeding primary cause
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, motorcycle fatalities have increase 28% since 2018, and most of those accidents could have been prevented.
Sunday evening a motorcyclist died in a crash on National and Kearney after colliding with a car that had a green light. Officers say they believe speeding may have been a factor leading up to the crash.
Investigators say many motorcycle crashes occur because someone was speeding. In 2021, the Missouri Highway Patrol has issued 16,000 speeding tickets where drivers were going at least 20 miles-per-hour over the limit. That is an 9% increase from 2020.
“We have had a large increase in the last year, year and a half in high speeds and that also is the number one contributing factor to our serious injuries and fatal crashes in Missouri,” said Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Sam Carpenter. “So we try to make sure people know slow down.”
Carpenter also stated that sometimes the speed limit isn’t always the safest speed to go. If the road conditions are wet, you may need to drive under the limit.
“We hear that a lot, I was only going the speed limit, well that’s not necessarily the safest speed to travel given the current road conditions,” said Carpenter.
Following the August 2020 repeal of the all-rider helmet law, motorcyclist fatalities increased. The number of un-helmeted riders killed in crashes increased from two in the first six months of 2020 to 31 so far in 2021.
“You have to be aware that you are not protected in any way especially if you are not wearing a helmet,” said Carpenter. “You have zero protection. If you are involved in a crash, you are coming off that motorcycle there’s no way around it.”
In order to keep everyone on the roads safe, troopers encourage drivers and motorcycle riders to watch their speed, wear a helmet or seat belt, and take the extra time to pay attention to your surroundings.
“Safety is our No. 1 priority. We want everybody to stay safe,” said Carpenter.
Safety Tips for motorcycle drivers:
- Wear a helmet
- Wear protective and reflective clothing so other drivers can see you
- Turn headlights on
- When driving at night, drive slower so it will be easier to stop if another vehicle or animal crosses your path
- Drive defensively
- Do not perform tricks like wheelies or burnouts on public streets and roadways
Safety tips for vehicle drivers:
- Take an extra second to look for oncoming drivers before you proceed through an intersection
- Eliminate distractions. Put your phone down and don’t mess with the radio while driving
- Give motorcyclists extra space on the road
- Be especially cautious in areas with road construction. If the grade of the road changes it could become more difficult for a motorcyclist to keep control of the bike
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, accidents are more prevalent between Memorial Day and Labor Day so drivers need to be extra cautious when on the road.
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