RISP cautions drivers, reports increase in motorcycle deaths this year
By: Sarah E. Rooney
NORTH SCITUATE, R.I. (WLNE) – Rhode Island State Police advises drivers to be extra cautious on the road, given an increases in the number of motorcycle related fatalities this year.
According to State Police, six individuals have died due to motorcycle accidents between January 1 and June 30 of this year. This number is double the number of deaths seen during the same period last year, according to police records.
“We are extremely concerned about this increase in motorcycle fatalities, especially given that we’re in the peak season for motorcycle riding,” Colonel Anne C. Assumpico of Rhode Island State Police says. “We strongly encourage all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets and protective equipment. We also remind other motorists to be watchful for motorcyclists.”
State Police also remind drivers that peak motorcycle season is officially underway, and that accidents involving motorcycles typically spike between June and September.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), there has been a nearly 60 percent increase in motorcycle deaths nationwide since 1996.
“Motorcyclists also need to be aware of changes in weather and road conditions, especially those that could create unsafe conditions,” Lieutenant McKenney says. “It is important to be able to maintain control of the motorcycle at all times, for the protection of the operator and any passenger.”
In light of these facts, State Police have released a list of safety tips and reminders for motorcycle operators:
Always wear a helmet and eye protection.
Wear protective, bright-colored clothing.
Keep high beams on during the day to improve visibility.
Avoid distractions, including cell phones and other electronic devices
Obey all traffic laws and rules of the road.
NEVER operate a motorcycle or any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Ride defensively – don’t assume other drivers can see you; be aware of other vehicles nearby; allow extra distance between other vehicles, and be prepared to take evasive action if need be.