Warm weather plays factor in rise of motorcycle wrecks

More motorcyclists are out on the road with warm weather. The Missouri State Highway Patrol gives reminders on safety when driving motorcycles or driving around them.

With summer in full swing, the number of motorcycles on the road has increased, and with that there have been more crashes involving motorcycles.

Two of those wrecks happened in the past week, with one resulting in a fatality.

“It’s that time of year — the temperatures up, the motorcycles are out and everybody, including motorcyclists, we all need to be vigilant, we need to be paying attention,” Sgt. Jake Angle, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Troop H, said.

Angle said paying attention to the road can help reduce wrecks, especially when it comes to motorcycles.

“Motorcycles are much smaller vehicles that you can lose them easier in blind spots. So, motorists and cars and trucks, whatever, need to be paying attention. Motorcyclists need to be paying attention,” Angle said. “They need to be good defensive drivers and try to predict and understand that they’re not as visible and most of them do.”

Another factor Angle believes makes a big difference in preventing wrecks is distance, by giving yourself time to react to unexpected events.

“Distance is big for any vehicle — to have that reactionary gap between you and the vehicle in front of you. So, in case a deer pops out, or the instance that happened on 169 where that chain reaction and the unfortunate crash involving that motorcycle as a result, you never know when it might happen,” Angle said.

There are numerous safety measures that can be taken when operating a motorcycle. Currently, the motorcycle helmet law is under review by the state’s legislators.

Right now the law requires anyone driving or riding a motorcycle to wear a protective helmet. The proposed change would not require those 26 or older to wear protective head gear as long as they have both medical insurance and proof of financial responsibility.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking the governor to veto the bill because of this, stating the helmet law saves lives and prevents life-long brain trauma.

The other factor pointed out was that law enforcement officers would have trouble knowing if a motorcyclist driving by is 26 or older.

According to a state representative who supports the change, it’s a matter of freedom and that those 26 and older should be able to decide for themselves.

Maykayla Hancock can be reached at makayla.hancock@newspressnow.com. Follow her on Twitter: @NPNowHancock.

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