Gas Prices Put More Scooters and Motorcycles on the Roads
When gas is pushing four dollars a gallon, the idea of a vehicle that can get up to 75 miles per gallon is highly attractive. As a result, we are seeing a renewed interest in both motorcycles and scooters, and a large spike in sales of these vehicles.
Jonathan Welsh, a writer for The Wall Street Journal, presents the numbers:
Motorcycle sales rose 7.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011, compared with the same period a year earlier, says [Tim] Bush [CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council].
[…] Sales of dual-purpose motorcycles, which are designed for highway and off-road use rose almost 25%. The group attributed the rise in dual purpose sales in part to the segment’s overall fuel efficiency.
It’s not just new riders that we are seeing on the roads, many out there also seem to be refurbishing their older bikes and hitting the road as well. Chris Woodyard, a writer for USA Today, takes note:
There’s even evidence that older scooters that might have found a lonely place in the garage are coming back to life: scooter tire sales jumped 48.6%.
‘There are still a lot of great used bikes putting on the miles,’ Buch said. ‘We see Americans leaving their cars at home more.’
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle accidents are on the rise nationally and a fatal crash on a motorcycle is 35 times more likely than a fatal accident in a car.
Safety officials stress that there are some things riders can do to protect themselves, including common sense advice such as wearing a helmet and never riding drunk.
Common sense and proper training are vital. But unfortunately, there is no cure all, especially when you consider that the majority of the motorcycle accidents that happen involve driver error on the part of the other vehicle. As accident attorney Dan Rosen points out in a previous article:
A major study conducted by the University of Southern California (USC) found that approximately 3/4 of motorcycle accidents involved a collision with another vehicle, usually a passenger automobile. It was also found that in 2/3 of these accidents, the driver of the other vehicle was at fault, rather than the biker. Drivers often fail to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic. And that’s the dominant cause of motorcycle accidents.
With more and more riders getting on the roads we hope that driver awareness of motorcycles on the road improves.