A motorcycle rider is taking safety into his own hands, to make the ride less dangerous for motorcyclists.
Statistics show that a motorcycle rider is 37 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than someone driving a car. Generally, this is because the driver did not see the bike altogether.
“I’ve witnessed some of these fatalities,” Jay Milligan, producer of demolition derbies and a volunteer firefighter, said.
Due to his encounters with motorcycle accidents, Milligan decided to produce his own safety product. It is a flashing headlight: he hooked up to a heavy-duty truck flasher and connected it to a motorcycle headlight to see what the creation would be.
"I came up with an idea of an alternating flashing headlight that would go from bright to dim and dim to bright," said Milligan.
Milligan brought in two other volunteer firefighters to demonstrate, one with the flasher installed and the other without. John Wicka jumped at the chance to try out this potentially life-saving innovation.
"I have seen too many serious and sometimes fatal motorcycle accidents where the motorcycle was involved with a car and the car did not see the motorcycle," Wicka said.
So, the big question is: is it effective?
"It is not uncommon to see other motorists coming towards me and giving me the thumbs up sign, indicating that they like the device, or they have seen the device," Wicka said.
By surprise, it is actually legal and encouraged to use these flasher lights. A state patrol trooper said the flashers will not be mistaken for police motorcycles, as we may have suspected they would be.
"Absolutely. It is a great idea. Wear a good helmet. Number one, wear a great helmet. Be a good defensive driver. Get all the protective gear you can," said Trooper Pittman.
The trooper did mention that the motorcycle industry has beat Milligan to producing a headlight of this kind. In fact, some foreign makers are installing these lights onto new motorcycles.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
• The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle involved in collision with the motorcycle did not see the motorcycle before the collision, or did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision.
• Fifty-five percent of all reported fatal motorcycle crashes occurring nationally in 1998 involved multiple vehicle crashes and 45% occurred in single-vehicle crashes.
• Five crash types account for 86% of fatal motorcycle crashes: motorcycle runs-off-road 41%, motorcycle or other vehicle runs traffic control 18%, head-on collision 11%, car turns in front of cycle 8% and motorcycle goes down in roadway 7%.
• Nine out of 10 motorcycle deaths in 1998 were males. Seventy-seven percent of the females who died in a motorcycle crash were passengers and 98% of males who died were drivers.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney that specializes in motorcycle accidents immediately if you have been the victim of a motorcycle collision.