AUTAUGA CO., AL (WSFA) - Following a fatal motorcycle accident in Autauga County on Saturday night, Alabama State Troopers released information on how frequent motorcycle accidents have been in the state so far for 2017.
According to the state, there have been 12 fatal crashes involving motorcycles. Eight, like the one Saturday, were single-vehicle crashes. Troopers have worked 87 non-fatal injuries motorcycle-involved injuries so far for 2017.
Nationally, the US Department of Transportation's latest research shows motorcycle deaths occur 27 times more often than fatal accidents in other vehicles. USDOT research also stated that 43 percent of motorcyclists who died in accidents were alcohol impaired.
Saturday's accident, according to ALEA's investigation, involved alcohol and speed.
Josef White, a motorcycle owner and manager at Harley-Davidson Montgomery, said there are a number of state and federal regulations in place to keep motorcycle riders safe.
"You need a motorcycle endorsement, and the only way to get a motorcycle endorsement is to pass a written exam and a writing exam where they actually make sure you can perform the fundamental maneuvers that it takes to ride a motorcycle safely," White explained.
There are helmets that are "DOT-approved", which are required in Alabama. There are also a number of rider courses available. However, he said accidents like Saturday's are an unfortunate reminder of how important it is for motorcyclists to be extra cautious.
"If you were to affect one or two tires on a car, you still have some stability on the ground," White said. "A motorcycle…if you take away any of the wheels or the ground it's riding, you're going to change what happens to that motorcycle drastically."
White said it is important for motorcyclists and surrounding drivers to drive for each other and be aware of each other.
For information on how to get involved with riding classes or other motorcycle-related resources, you can visit http://www.h-dmontgomery.com/.