BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — It’s been a particularly dangerous 24 hours for motorcycle riders on the Gulf Coast in what has been a particularly dangerous riding season. Three bikers are confirmed dead, in different areas.
Tragically, in the latest crash, a fire chief was killed when responding to a crash between a motorcycle and an 18-wheeler. The biker also died. It happened on County Road 112 near the Alabama and Florida State line.
Late Tuesday night, another biker was killed in an accident on the Baldwin Beach express near Buc-ee’s. That accident involved another vehicle.
Another biker died in Pensacola when he lost control in a curve and flew off the bike.
There have been so many motorcycle-related deaths this season, I’ve frankly lost count. Many of them are caused by distracted drivers and involve other vehicles. But, there have been a number of them that were also rider error. That’s why bikers, including myself, have been working hard to spread the motorcycle safety awareness message, not just drivers, but bikers too.
Just this past Friday Spanish Fort High School allowed me to lead the team out onto the football field before the game with Saraland. The video is here:
About 15 other bikers and I paraded past the stands at the beginning of halftime, after the school played a message from WKRG on the jumbotron.
According to the latest statistics, Gulf Coast states are some of the most dangerous for bikers in the country. That’s according to analysis from insurance website QuoteWizard. The website says it analyzed NHSTSA death data from 2017 and Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. All ranked near the top of the deadliest states. In fact, Mississippi is ranked the deadliest state for bikers. Florida is ranked 4th and Alabama 15th. That’s based on accidents per registered motorcycle. Florida actually had far more fatalities than Mississippi or Alabama, but it has vastly more bikers on the road too.
Distracted driving, especially cell phones, poses the most dangerous to motorcycle riders. So, please think about that when you are driving and thinking about texting. But the responsibility for safety lies mostly on the rider who’ve chosen to take risks to enjoy riding. That’s why proper training, practice, defensive driving and more are important too. Too many riders take unnecessary risks. So, we must be careful too.
Please be careful out there, and follow me on social media:
Chris Best is the News Director for WKRG. He’s a husband and father of four. He’s also a motorcycle enthusiast.