Motorcyclists see themselves as a different breed. They have their unique access to the pleasures of biking and enjoy both their freedom and the bond they create with other bikers who share their passion.
This is why motorcyclists who want to keep enjoying their privileges for many years to come must know the boundaries of their freedom. The risk of a motorcycle accident in Virginia increases sharply with alcohol intake; bike crashes often have devastating consequences.
The problem frequently arises when a group of motorcycle buddies stop at a bar to have a few drinks before hitting the road again. For some of them, this is when they lose control of their bike, never realizing that their fun would lead to a crash.
How Does Alcohol Affect Motorcyclists?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a number of tests to determine the effects of alcohol on motorcycle riding skills. Data was collected at four levels of intoxication: 0.00, 0.02, 0.05 and 0.08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Results showed that:
- In the offset weave (slalom) test, motorcyclists with a 0.08 BAC had significantly worse results than others, missing more pylons and riding much closer around them.
- In the hazard avoidance test, where a 1.5 second advanced signal warns of an obstacle, motorcyclists in both the 0.08 and 0.05 BAC categories had slower reaction times than the others.
- A curve circuit test showed that all participants with some blood alcohol content rode faster and with varying speed than those in the 0.00 category.
All bikers in the alcohol categories admitted that they tired more and faster than those in the 0.00 group, riding and successfully completing the tasks requiring more effort than for the sober motorcyclists.
Many new and inexperienced motorcyclists do not realize this at once, but riding a motorcycle requires such fined tuned skills, a constant focus, and split-second reflexes that the impact of alcohol on their riding ability is considerably magnified.
Not only are motorcyclists constantly moving their bodies to keep the balance right, the slightest out-of-tune handling of the front or rear brakes, throttle or steering is enough to send them crashing.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Virginia motorcycle accident, please contact a Virginia motorcycle crash lawyer for a free discussion of your accident case.