Motorcycle Deaths Spike in Virginia: “Put Down Your Phone!”

According to a report released last week by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, more motorcyclists died on the roads of Virginia in 2017 than any other year since 2007.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is trying to figure out any sort of a trend that might be behind the increased deaths.

In 2017, there were 197 deaths among motorcyclists in Virginia, which is up nearly 50% from 2016 when 72 deaths were recorded.

The numbers in Virginia are just a reflection of the situation nationwide. Statistics from the National Highway Transportation Administration show a 5.1% increase in motorcycle deaths in 2016 – which is the largest number of fatalities since 2008.

“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to find some sort of pattern that might explain this a little better,” said Brandy Brubaker, a DMV spokeswoman for Richmond Times-Dispatch.

While motorcyclists usually acknowledge the fact that riding is undoubtedly more dangerous than driving and that recklessness, bad motorcycle maintenance, and alcohol play significant roles in crashes, they also point out to a certain modern trend that makes riding even riskier.

“Phones, phones, phones, phones,” said Joey Ledford, owner and technician at Richmond Superbike in Sandston.  He also blames high tech cars and dashboard displays that take the driver’s attention off the road.

There were 1,453 texting-while-driving convictions in Virginia in 2017, the same number as a year before. The number has ranged up and down over the past seven years, according to the DMV, from 1,016 in 2013 to 1,685 in 2014. (Via: Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Brubaker says there were 208 deaths caused by distracted driving last year.

“Definitely, distracted driving is a growing trend,” Brubaker said. “It’s a behavior. It’s something people choose to do. … It’s something we hope we can combat with awareness campaigns.”

Motorcycle Safety Course Stresses Awareness


Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch

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