It’s officially summer and all of the official summer outdoor activities have been rolled out, including picnics, hiking and swimming. For many in New York, summer wouldn’t be complete without rolling their motorcycles out on the state’s highways, riding from Newburgh to all points on the compass.
State officials are cautioning motorcycle riders and automobile drivers to be aware of each other in order to reduce car accidents involving cycles.
State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Barbara Fiala recently said, “Motorcycling is more popular than ever. With this popularity comes an increase in crashes, injuries and fatalities.”
According to the Albany Times Union newspaper, over the past decade the state of New York has seen a dramatic rise of 28 percent in motorcycle licenses. Registered motorcycles have risen even faster: 76 percent over 10 years. That adds up to more than 655,000 licensed motorcyclists in the state.
Those riders are 37 times more likely to be killed in an accident than the driver of a car. In 2010, 182 motorcyclists died on our state’s highways and streets.
In eight days this month — from June 6 to June 14 — there were eight fatal motorcycle accidents in New York State.
State officials stress that motorcyclists need to drive cautiously and always wear protective gear.
Officials have tips for drivers of cars and trucks, too: focus on your driving rather than on your cell phone or other distractions, leave room between your vehicle and motorcycles and don’t litter (trash can hit riders or cause the wheels on their cycles to slip).