Motorcycle accidents on consecutive days in Grand Junction have left us thinking about motorcycle safety and how many accidents may be preventable. Here are seven reasons why motorcycles crash.

First all, let me point out that I know nothing concerning the circumstances surrounding these two motorcycle crashes in Grand Junction, and so the purpose here is not to, in any way, lay blame on anyone. Sometimes a cyclist is at fault, and sometimes it's the other driver.

According to the National Highway Transportation Association, there are over four million motorcycles registered in the United States. That represents about 2% of all registered vehicles, yet motorcycles account for 5% of all highway fatalities. A whopping 80% of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death, compared to 20% for automobiles.

While one might argue that even getting behind the wheel of a car or truck is a dangerous proposition, the fact is, motorcycles are inherently more dangerous because of their lack of size and visibility.

Another factor is the fact that riding a motorcycle requires special skills and a certain amount of physical ability. The NHTA lists these seven causes of motorcycle crashes.

1 - Lack of basic riding skills.

2 - Failure to appreciate the inherent operating characteristics of the bike.

3 - Failure to appreciate the limitations of the motorcycle.

4 - Failure to use defensive driving techniques.

5 - Lack of basic braking and cornering skills.

6 - Failure to use special precautions while riding.

7 - Failure to follow the speed limit.

Clearly, the best defense against being in a motorcycle accident is to be well-trained in motorcycle handling and operation by taking a motorcycle training course.

Aside from that, there is no question that a large responsibility lies on automobile drivers to be aware of motorcyclists and bikers on the road, to drive defensively and with caution, and to be on the look out for bikers. This is especially important this time of the year as the weather is turning nicer and more bikes are out on the road.