Off-Duty Police Officer Dies In Motorcycle Crash


April 21, 2017

A young police officer died this past weekend in a motorcycle crash this weekend according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The initial investigation revealed that the off-duty officer was killed when he was riding his personal motorcycle north on Ogeechee Road. The officer was struck by an SUV that was headed south and turning east or left, in front of him. The motorcycle and SUV collided. The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department.

The police officer who died in the crash was only 32 years of age. He had been a member of the Tybee Island police department for less than a year. Despite his short time on the job as a police officer, the officer became a well-respected part of the Tybee Island police department family.

This incident is a tragic reminder that motorcycle operators must be vigilant when riding, making sure that they drive their bike safely while watching out for other drivers. This story, or one like it, repeats itself many times over in a given year. According to the Governor's Office of Highway Safety in Georgia:

• In 2016, 1564 people died in traffic crashes in Georgia,
• The Governor's Office has a target to reduce traffic fatalities by instituting programs and reconfiguring roads to decrease the number of traffic deaths in 2017 by 41,
• Georgia averages just well 100 motorcycle deaths per year. In 2016, the state was on target for 108 motorcycle fatalities, which would have been substantially lower than previous years, and
• Only two people in 2016 were killed while not wearing a helmet.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers motorcycle fatalities and injuries major health crises in the United States. The CDC studied the people who are riding motorcycles today. The study found:

• More than half of the people killed in motorcycle accidents annually are over 40 years of age, whereas 20 years ago that number was approximately 25%;
• Most women killed in motorcycle crashes as passengers. Women motorcycle operators are victims in about 10% of crashes,
• Compared to the mid-1990s, about half of all fatal crashes happen on rural roads;
• Many people who died in motorcycle crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. The CDC suggests that this figure proves cyclists take more chances after having a few drinks than sober riders; and
• High-speed, high-performance motorcycle models contribute too many motorcycle crashes.

There are dire consequences that riders, their families, and the public suffer from motorcycle crashes. Aside from the physical and emotional toll motorcycle crashes take on the victims and their families, the public bears a substantial burden as well. The CDC determined that $12 billion can be spent in a given year on medical care for a motorcycle crash victim. The public bears the burden to pay for the costs if insurance does not cover the care for injuries. The CDC studied a series of 105 crashes where the victims were treated at a trauma center. The CDC found that 63% of all hospital and other health care costs were paid for by government programs and subsidies like Medicare.

Tips for Safer Motorcycle Riding

1. Operators and riders must always wear an approved helmet,
2. Ride defensively while following the rules of the road,
3. Do not ride after consuming alcohol,
4. Do not speed or drive recklessly, and
5. Take a rider's educational course.

Sources: cited within

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