Michigan State Police recalls to help prevent motorcycle deaths
Many people hit the road on motorcycles in the summer, but it can be deadly.
The Qualified Motorcyclists Association says that in 1992 Michigan had 31 motorcyclist fatalities. Last year there was an all-time high of 166 motorcyclist deaths.
Peyton Cutting’s parents were in a serious motorcycle accident last summer.
“Someone had rammed them at about 60 miles an hour, and they were going less than ten,” said Peyton Cutting, general partner, Zips Harley-Davidson in Traverse City. “Helmets are the reason my mother is still alive today.”
Michigan State Police say that since the repeal of the motorcycle helmet law in 2012, they’ve seen a steady increase in motorcyclist deaths, but that’s not the only factor.
“Almost half of all motorcycle deaths are people who don’t even have a license to ride a motorcycle, and as a result, they haven’t taken the proper safety courses to know what to do in the event of maneuvers avoidance,” SPL/LT said. Derrick Carroll for the Michigan State Police.
Alcohol is another factor in many fatal accidents.
Drivers also have a responsibility when it comes to monitoring motorcycles.
“Obviously a lot of distance between you and the motorcyclist. Once they start to break, they will stop quite quickly, whereas a larger vehicle takes longer to stop,” SPL/LT explained. Carroll. “That’s when we see accidents, especially at construction sites or at red lights or another vehicle, and a motorcyclist ends up in the back.”
Cutting says reflective motorcycle jackets are also an important safety feature that would have helped his parents.
“If they were wearing jackets that day, my mom wouldn’t have had a rash,” Cutting said. “When you look at the jacket, it looks like a white line through it, and it’s a very subtle gray color. But once it reflects off a light like, say, car headlights or whatever thing, it would reflect, and then you would see it.
These are all things to remember when riding two wheels.