April 11, 2014

Spring has finally arrived to Pennsylvania roads, and that means a lot of motorcycle and scooter enthusiasts will soon start taking to the streets. If you’re like most riders, you can’t wait to get on your two-wheeled escape pod and break out of your normal routine. Motorcycle riding is a good way to see the sights around the Keystone state, and you’ve probably been planning a visit to one or more scenic destinations even before the last snow began to melt. But first, there are a few things you should know before you strap on your leather and get out there.

Most riders are aware that Pennsylvania voters repealed the 2003 law, which required all riders to wear helmets, yet few know what the statistical data reveals about what has been happening to motorcycle riders in the decade since. Some of the stats throughout the Keystone state from 2012 are pretty grim. There were 3,985 people involved inmotorcycle accidents in that year; 210 of them perished as a result of those accidents. Just under half of those who died, 49 percent, were not wearing helmets.

It’s important to bear in mind that these numbers are only state statistics. The national numbers show that 93,000 people were injured in motorcycle accidents in 2012. Motorcycle riders are also 35 times likelier to be killed on a motorcycle rather than in other vehicles.

Last year, the Pennsylvania legislature took a positive step in reducing those numbers by limiting to three times the number of times a person can apply for the motorcycle learner’s permit within a five-year period. That ensures that a person has to complete the full process of obtaining the license, and everything that entails.

If you are licensed, regardless of whether you choose to wear a helmet or not, you have a right to be safe while sharing the road with other motorists. Although, you should always take care to avoid accidents, if one should occur, there may be legal remedies available to you to help you recover for damages to your bike and for your injuries.

Source: The Sentinel, “Our View: Please be careful out there” No author given, Apr. 07, 2014