Graduation parties, graduation parties and motorcycling are spring rituals that unite one tragic thing: they too often become a place for car accidents that take lives.
Statistics released last week by PennDOT highlight the danger.
According to PennDOT, the number of fatalities in road accidents has increased by almost 9 percent in 2021 compared to 2020. Accidents involving a 16-17-year-old driver have almost doubled: 45 deaths compared to 26 in 2020.
Each year, the level of risk for teenage drivers is highlighted with regard to graduation and graduation ceremonies, when young drivers may tend to ignore the risks “just this time” and drive after drinking or in a car with lots of passengers and distractions.
PennDOT data for 2021 showed that accidents when a vehicle left the lane accounted for almost half of road deaths. Speeding and disruption or delayed driving are the leading factors of these types of accidents.
Motorcyclists died to 226 against 217.
“Safety on our roads is a shared responsibility,” PennDOT Secretary Yasmin Hramyan said in a press release. “Whether you are a driver, a passenger, a pedestrian or a cyclist, we can all contribute to prevent accidents and deaths. Fasten every time you are in the car. Always cross the road at an intersection or pedestrian crossing. Always wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle or bicycle. Never drive, drive or walk with damage or distraction. Let’s work together to reduce traffic fatalities, because even one fatality is too much. “
PennDOT followed a report on casualties last week, recalling motorcycle safety.
“With the rise in temperature and the number of motorcycles traveling on Pennsylvania roads, [state] reminded drivers and motorcyclists to share the road, follow traffic rules and follow each other throughout the skiing season, ”Gramyan said in a release.
In 2021, there were 3,578 motorcycle accidents on the roads of Pennsylvania, killing 226 people. Accidents rose by more than 150 from 3,404 in 2020, and the death toll also rose from 217 in 2020.
In Pennsylvania, May has been designated as the month of motorcycle safety awareness.
“We encourage riders to slow down, drive in defense and remember not to drink and drive to keep yourself upright and ready for the next ride,” said Major Robert Krol, director of the Pennsylvania Police Patrol Bureau. “Enrolling in a free safety course can help motorcycle enthusiasts of all skill levels refresh their skills or even learn some new techniques.”
PennDOT has contracted with several third-party motorcycle training providers that offer free safety classes for residents who have a motorcycle permit or license. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the training providers directly to find out if classes are available, as additional courses may be offered, and providers may offer additional attendance opportunities or a waiting list if people are not attending the training.
Here are some safety tips that motorists should keep in mind when riding a motorcycle:
• Watch out for motorcycles. Keep in mind that motorcycles are small and hard to see. Check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes and at intersections.
• Allow more of the following distance: leave at least four seconds of distance between the motorcycle and your car.
• Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
• Respect the motorcycle as a full-size vehicle with the same rights and privileges as any vehicle on the roadway.
• Allow the rider to the full width of the lane, as the rider needs space to maneuver safely in all road conditions.
Motorcyclists can contribute to avoid accidents:
– Wear reflective clothing and apply reflective tape to protective clothing and motorcycles. Also wear face or eye protection and an approved DOT helmet
– using common sense, being sober, obeying all speed limits and giving enough time to react to potentially dangerous situations.
– practice safe riding techniques and know how to drive your motorcycle in adverse road and weather conditions.
Car accidents continue to be a major cause of death among young people, and the dangers inherent in teenage drivers have been well documented. As families prepare for prom and prom, talk to your teens about a transportation plan that emphasizes safety and risk aversion. Spring is a time to celebrate rituals and a time to relax in the fresh air. Be sure to put safety first.