The first four months of 2015 have been some of the deadliest months for motorcyclists over the past six years in Iowa. In fact, there were eight motorcycle accident fatalities spanning from the beginning of January to the end of April of 2015, making 2015 the year with the highest number of motorcycle deaths so early in the year since 2012.
Why the increase in motorcycle fatalities in Iowa for 2015?
No one can be sure why the number of motorcyclist fatalities is so much higher this year than it has been in previous years. Pat Hoye, bureau chief at the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau in Des Moines, told reporters that he believes it has been in part due to the early spring weather, which has been more conducive to riding.
In other words, more motorcyclists may have started riding earlier than in previous years, resulting in an increase of accidents. Motorists may not have been ready to see riders on the road, and motorcyclists may have been unprepared to deal with the loose gravel leftover from winter.
Loose gravel can make taking turns slipperier, and it also makes stopping difficult. Phil McCormick, state coordinator for a motorcycle advocacy group said that he waits until the rains have washed off all of the gravel before he takes his first ride of the season.
Contributing Factors in 2015 Motorcycle Fatalities
There were some contributing factors listed in the Iowa Department of Transportation reports, including the following listed below.
- Riding while under the influence of alcohol
- Drifting off the road
Unfortunately, none of the motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents in Iowa this year was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, highlighting the importance of motorcycle helmet laws. Iowa is one of only three states that holds no helmet laws. Pat Hoye said that he believed that wearing a helmet could have possibly saved some of the fatally injured motorcyclists’ lives.
The Importance of Safe Riding
To help keep you safe while riding, we encourage you to read our blogs that feature stories like these.
- Motorcycle safety equipment you may not know about
- How to get your bike ready for riding season
- Tips for buying a motorcycle helmet
We hope that riding safely will prevent you from ever being in an accident, especially one where serious injuries occur. If you are injured, though, make sure you call the attorneys at Walker, Billingsley & Bair for legal representation. Reach us at (888) 435-9886.