Hawai‘i transportation department shows uptick in rider-involved fatalities
Thirteen individuals have died on Hawai‘i roadways while operating a motorcycle, motor scooter or moped since the beginning of 2023, according to the Hawai‘i State Department of Transportation.
At this time last year, there were eight fatalities of this nature recorded.
The Department of Transportation is reminding all motorists to “share the road” with each other during Motorcycle Safety month and all those to come.
According to latest preliminary data, in 2022 there were 33 motorcycle, motor scooter and moped rider fatalities. This is 28% of all traffic related fatalities that occurred in 2022.
Of the 33 fatalities, 22 of the riders were not properly licensed. Preliminary toxicology results reveal that 18 of the riders tested positive for alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.
Single-vehicle crashes contributed to nine of 33 fatalities. Speed was a factor in 19 of these deaths. Only nine of 33 riders were wearing helmets at the time of their incident.
The Department of Transportation advises motorists to check mirrors and blind spots at least twice before merging or changing lanes, especially in heavy traffic. A motorcycle can easily be hidden behind another vehicle.
Motorists should allow for more following distance when traveling behind a motorcycle, so the rider has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. Riders may need to suddenly change speed or adjust position within a lane due to road and traffic conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces
The Department of Transportation advises motorcycle, motor scooter and moped riders to get licensed if you don’t already have a motorcycle endorsement. Please note if riders take the motorcycle safety course and pass, it may serve as a waiver for the road test.
Leeward Community College is the only State certified motorcycle safety range in the State of Hawai‘i. For more information on motorcycle safety courses please go here.
Riders should also wear appropriate, highly visibility protective gear and strategically use your lane position to see and be seen. It is illegal to ride between cars or use the roadway shoulders unless directed by police or roadway crew.
For more information related to the motorcycle driver’s manual and rules of the road, visit here.