WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- As news spread of the death of a 37-year-old motorcyclist from the Fairview section of Greenburgh last week, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner quickly offered safety tips for motorcycle drivers to help prevent future fatalities.
According to police, the crash occurred when a 78-year-old resident of Old Tarrytown Road was on his way home in his Chevy Suburban truck and was making a left turn onto Old Tarrytown Road from Hillside Avenue, when the motorcyclist, who was driving a BMW motorcycle north on Hillside Avenue collided, police said.
Experts say some of the risk factors that contributed to motorcycle fatalities include alcohol and drug use, increased speed limits and a record number of vehicles on U.S. roads.
According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, there have been 73 motorcycle accidents in Westchester County so far this year, with the one fatality. Compared to 2015 in Westchester, when there were 211 motorcycle crashes overall, with seven fatalities. Nationwide, there were more than 5,000 motorcycle fatalities in 2015.
In New York State, there were 142 fatal motorcycle deaths statewide in 2014 (the latest data available), and 3,863 motorcycle rider injured during crashes, according to the ITSMR. In addition, only three percent of motorcycle crashes involved alcohol, and 56 percent of the crashes were single vehicle.
The institute's data also showed that a motorcyclist is more likely to be killed on a Saturday (20 percent), or Sunday (21 percent), than other days of the week. The lowest number of motorcycle accidents occur on Wednesdays. And, the average age of a driver who is killed on a motorcycle, ranges from 21 to 29 years old.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
- Drivers should be aware and constantly look out for motorcyclists especially at street intersections where a majority of motorcycle collisions occur.
- Drivers should consciously look out for motorcyclists when they make lane changes or when they exit or enter a parking lot or alley.
- Motorcyclists should never ride without a DOT-compliant helmet, even when state law does not require it.
- Motorcyclists and motorists should not operate under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- All motorists and motorcyclists should obey posted speed limits and not drive at speeds that are unsafe given roadway or weather conditions.
- Motorcyclists would be well advised to wear bright-colored clothing so they can be better seen by other drivers.
- When buying a new motorcycle, opt for a model with antilock brakes, which have been shown to decrease fatal crashes by preventing the wheels from locking during braking and helping with maintaining the vehicle’s stability.