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Motorcycle Safety

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  • Annually in the U.S., between 4,000 and 5,000 people die as the result of a motorcycle crash.
  • In Oklahoma, 334 motorcyclists were hospitalized and 106 died in 2009.
  • Alcohol or drug impairment is frequently reported for motorcyclists. Impaired riders are more likely to be hospitalized or die than unimpaired riders.
  • Hospitalization or death is more frequent among motorcyclists not wearing a helmet.
  • Based on Oklahoma data for 2009, typical hospital charges are over $13,000 higher for unhelmeted motorcyclists than those wearing a helmet.
  • Injuries to the head, face, or neck are twice as frequent among unhelmeted motorcyclists than those wearing a helmet.
  • Nearly one-half of motorcycle crashes involve only the motorcycle. This type of crash more frequently results in hospitalization or death than crashes involving other vehicles.
  • Motorcycle crashes in rural areas and crashes occurring at night result in more hospitalizations and deaths than crashes in urban areas and crashes during daylight hours.

Prevention

  • Don’t ride if impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Wear a proper fitting DOT-approved helmet; you may want to consider helmets that are also Snell certified.
  • Wear clothing or specialized gear that provides protection against road rash and impact injuries to other parts of the body.
  • Be extra cautious if riding at night or on narrow rural roads, especially if you are unfamiliar with the road.
  • Only ride motorcycles that you are familiar with and comfortable riding and that fit your riding experience level and physical ability.
  • If new to riding, consider taking a motorcycle safety course that has a practical riding component.

Internet Resources

Injury Prevention Service, OSDH, 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Revised September 2012

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