Whenever a driver operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated, the risk of a crash increases dramatically. Unfortunately, these risks are just as prevalent for motorcyclists—who do not have the additional external protection that a car or truck might provide. This May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, is promoting Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As part of this important cause, the organization gathered important data that shows that too many motorcyclists are still making the fatal mistake of riding their bike after consuming alcohol.
Facts Every Motorcyclist Needs to Know About Alcohol Use and Driving
According the NHTSA, the following statistics show that motorcycle use and alcohol consumption are still an issue:
The number of motorcycle drivers who operated their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, leading to a fatal crash, was higher than that of drivers of other types of vehicles, including passenger cars and light trucks, in 2013.
- Many motorcycle riders who died in motorcycle accidents in 2012 were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. Approximately 29 percent of the riders were reported to have had blood alcohol concentration levels of .08 or higher at the time of their fatal accident.
- Fatal motorcycle accidents involving alcohol use appear to occur more often at night. Statistics show that fatal crashes occurring in the evening were three times more likely to have involved drivers who had a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or higher than those that occurred during the day.
- Nearly half of all motorcycle riders who died in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident in 2012 were intoxicated at the time of the crash. Approximately 43 percent of the 2,030 fatalities involved drivers with blood alcohol concentration levels above .08. This figure rose to 64 percent on weekend nights.
This May, we strongly encourage you to participate in Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by doing your part to reduce the number of fatal motorcycle accidents caused by drunk driving. Do not get on your bike after consuming alcohol. Instead, call a friend for a ride and keep yourself safe!