Sample News Release - Motorcycle Safety

There is nothing like being out on the open road on a motorcycle, but, all too often, this freeing experience turns deadly. It's important to keep safety in mind when you're riding.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), per mile driven, motorcyclists are approximately 37 times more likely to die in traffic crashes than occupants of passenger cars. On average, 166 New Yorkers die each year as a result of crashes involving motorcycles.

Many of these fatalities could have been prevented by using motorcycle helmets which are required in New York State. NHTSA has found that helmets are up to 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 42% effective for passengers. Helmets are 67% effective in preventing brain injuries in crashes; riders without helmets are three times more likely to have concussions or other brain injuries as a result of crashes than helmeted riders.

"With head injury being the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes, wearing a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved helmet is the most important thing you can do. It really is a matter of life and death," said (name and title) of (county health agency/organization name).

New York State law requires that all motorcyclists, both passengers and drivers, wear helmets when riding. When purchasing a helmet, look for the "DOT" sticker to be sure it meets federal safety standards.

Riders should practice these safety tips to stay safe on the road.

  • In addition to helmets, NYS law requires the use of protective eyewear.
  • Wear proper gear including heavyweight jackets and long pants, durable shoes that cover the ankle and leather gloves.
  • Wear brightly colored clothing and reflectors to increase visibility.
  • Ride for conditions. Avoid riding when roads are slippery, and don't speed.
  • Avoid the blind spots of other vehicles.
  • Take a rider education course. For classes near you, call for the nearest testing site, call 1-800-446-9227 or visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's website: www.msf-usa.org.

For more information about motorcycle safety, call the (local health agency name) at (telephone number) or visit the State Health Department Web site at http://www.health.ny.gov/.