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Fatal motorcycle accidents rose nearly 50 percent in Pennsylvania

It is getting to be the time of year when Reading residents will start to see motorcyclists out on the roads. After a long and cold winter, bikers are finally able to ride. What is especially interesting is that when gas prices go up, more people switch to motorcycles because they are far more efficient with their gas. What that also means, however, is that fatal motorcycle accidents tend to increase.

It can't just be increasing gas prices that have led to the 43 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities between 2001 and 2013. Compared to the 27 percent drop in other fatal motor vehicle accidents during the same time, the safety of motorcycle accidents is seriously in question. One of the past presidents of the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Dealers Association has said that he suspects distracted driving to be part of the problem.

Of course, distracted driving can cause fatal accidents for anyone, biker or not, but with motorcycles being hard to see, it is even easier for a distracted driver to cause a fatal motorcycle accident. As it is, there are many people who claim not to see bikers as they are driving, even when they are paying attention. Granted, it is often suspect when a driver claims he or she couldn't see a motorcycle before he or she collided with one.

All motorists, whether in a car, a motorcycle or any other kind of vehicle should be able to go from destination to destination without worrying that someone's negligence or distraction will cause them serious or fatal injury. It is every motorist's responsibility to drive safely and avoid causing accidents.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, "How gas prices related to motorcycle fatalities," Paul Nussbaum, April 26, 2014

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