Let’s face it, alcohol use at scooter events is the worst kept secret in the scooter community. Getting together for a drink is a not uncommon central fixture of many social scooter gatherings. While the majority of the time people certainly stay within their (and the law’s) limits, the relationship between two-wheel fatalities and alcohol can’t be ignored. Obviously, I’m not suggesting that festive, responsible alcohol consumption isn’t possible or that scooter events should only take place in dry counties. What I am saying is that especially when we’re out riding our favorite scooter, we’ve got to be extra responsible with our alcohol consumption. Why? Because it’s getting us killed.
RideApart recently did a breakdown of updated motorcycle fatality statistics:
To put that into context, 5,075 motorcyclists were killed on U.S. roads in 2012. More than a quarter of those were under the influence of alcohol. NHTSA’s report does not specify if it was the rider and or the passenger that were killed. Nor does it elaborate on the type of crash, such as whether it was one or more vehicles or the type of other vehicle, if any, that was involved.
NHTSA’s figures also show that in 2003, 3,800 motorcyclists were killed in the U.S. with 1,106 (23%) of those alcohol impaired. Disturbingly in 2012, the number of motorcycle fatalities not only increased again, but also the number of alcohol-related crashes among motorcyclists has climbed too.
The NHTSA also doesn’t make a distinction between motorcycle fatalities and scooter fatalities. It’s all one big grouping of powered two-wheeled vehicles. Yet the lesson is an obvious one. Dial back the booze. As much as a no-brainer as this should be, the statistics are showing that not only are fatalities overall on the rise, but alcohol-related fatalities in particular. This is maddening because it’s so easily preventable. Had too many? Don’t ride. Easy. Done. Take a cab or hop on the back with someone sober. The great thing about most scooters is they’re easy to stash out of the way until you can come back for them.
Stay sober out there, folks. Or at the very least, be smart.