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North Carolina military steps up motorcycle accident prevention

The military in North Carolina is stepping up its efforts to reduce the deaths of servicemen who ride motorcycles. A motorcycle accident can happen at any time, but the military is seeing an astounding number of deaths related to bikes. Although motorcycle fatalities have decreased, in 2008 the numbers were at an all-time high when 113 military members succumbed to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

Now the Department of Defense is requiring service members who are interested in riding a motorcycle to attend a safety course. The number of accidents has decreased slightly since the mandate was issued. Brunswick and New Hanover Counties have been pinpointed as prime areas where motorcycle crashes occur, simply because of their close proximity to military bases. During the years of 2007 and 2011, there were 25 motorcycle fatalities between the two counties.

A study conducted by the Rand Corporation concluded that state military members may be more impulsive than civilians, and 78 percent claim to seek thrills, potentially making them more susceptible to purchasing a motorcycle. However, this is not to say everyone who rides a motorcycle is in immediate danger or is operating their vehicle in an unsafe manner. Motorcycle riders may be more vulnerable to injury simply by virtue of the design of the bike.

Motorcyclists who are involved in an accident due to the negligence of another typically have the right to seek legal action. With the high population of military personnel in North Carolina around the New Hanover area who choose to ride a bike, the odds of a motorcycle accident increase. Although safety courses can certainly help, sometimes riders are in the wrong place at the wrong time and end up in an accident where they are not at fault. When they do, they may gain by investigating their rights and responsibilities under our motor vehicle and personal injury laws.

Source: Star News Online, "Military focuses on reducing motorcycle deaths of servicemen," Adam Wagner, Dec. 5, 2012

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