When the Pennsylvania climate allows, motorcycle riding is a popular mode of transportation. Some ride motorcycles primarily as a way to get from one place to another. For others, it is a recreational vehicle used to take long rides throughout the state. Whatever the purpose behind motorcycle use, it is always possible that the vehicle could be involved in one of the many motorcycle accidents that plague our region on a yearly basis. This is particularly relevant in the Pittsburgh area as Allegheny County boasts the highest number of registered motorcycles and motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania.
Motorcycle accidents are dangerous and can lead to lifelong injuries or death. This summer, we have seen many motorcycle accidents take place throughout western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. While many car and truck drivers say their accidents with motorcycles were unavoidable, the truth of the matter is that watching out for and sharing the road with bikers is a responsibility that comes with the privilege of owning a driver's license.
Twelve years ago, Pennsylvania repealed a law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets and replaced it with a policy of optional helmet use with the exception of riders under the age of 21. Evidence found that wearing a helmet did not cause any more motorcycle accidents; however, those who are involved in motorcycle accidents who are not wearing a helmet exponentially increase their chances of death.
Pennsylvania State Police reportedly suspect that alcohol played a role in a Nov. 8 accident that claimed the life of a motorcyclist. According to police, drunk-driving charges are pending against one of the motorists involved in the incident.
A warm and dry autumn may be one factor in the numerous motorcycle accidents being reported around the state. However, a number of other factors may be at play in what seems to be a growing cause of serious injuries and traffic fatalities.