Motorcycle deaths up in N.C.

July 11, 2008 1:11:00 PM PDT
High gas prices are having a positive and negative impact on the roads.

Researchers say prices at the pump could cut auto deaths by as much as a third as driving decreases.

Fatalities in 2007 could drop by as much as 1,000 deaths a month. But as more people park their gas guzzling cars, AAA reports an increase in motorcycle deaths in North Carolina.

Motorcycle deaths in the Tar Heel State rank 8th in the nation and could likely go up as more people become bikers.

AAA Carolinas recommends that motorcyclists:

  • Wear a helmet at all times ? be sure to replace when broken down and worn. (Fourteen percent of motorcycle riders use helmets that do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.)
  • Take the state-approved education course for training on how to ride a motorcycle safely before getting on the highway.

AAA Carolinas recommends that motorists:

  • Stay clear of motorcyclists and allow them adequate room to maneuver. Do not share the lane -- motorcyclists have the same right to lanes as any other vehicles.
  • Always use your turning signals. Signaling your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic allows the motorcyclists to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.
  • Allow an additional following distance of at least three to four seconds
  • Check your mirrors carefully before changing lanes. Motorcycles are often difficult to see because of their smaller size and/or hidden by blind spots.
  • Always predict a motorcycle is closer than it appears.


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