While Tennessee residents may know it is dangerous to drink alcohol before driving their car, they may not always consider the hazards of riding a motorcycle while intoxicated. It is important for people to understand that they may be involved in a fatal collision if they drink before getting on their motorcycle.

Drinking can make motorcycle accidents more deadly than other kinds of motor vehicle crashes. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the blood alcohol concentration of passenger car drivers was 0.08 or higher in 21 percent of the fatal collisions that occurred in 2015. Motorcyclists, though, had a BAC level higher than the legal limit in 27 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents. Bikers wearing helmets are not necessarily safer than bikers without this headgear. Motorcyclists wore helmets in 51 percent of the fatal crashes in 2015. Additionally, collisions that occurred at night involved a legally drunk motorcycle rider in 42 percent of these incidents.

When motorcyclists are involved in fatal collisions because they are drunk, the crash is usually not their first. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2014, 13 percent of motorcyclists who were in a fatal accident and had a BAC level of 0.08 or higher had been in a prior collision, while 24 percent had ther license either revoked or suspended at some point. Additionally, 18 percent of bikers in fatal crashes had speeding convictions on their driving record.

A motorcyclist’s age sometimes is a factor in fatal collisions involving alcohol. Bikers between the ages of 21 and 24 were involved in 30 percent of fatal accidents in 2014, while bikers between the ages of 45 and 54 were involved in 20 percent of these incidents. Gender may also play a role. Men were involved in 23 percent of the fatal collisions that occurred in 2014, while women were involved in 15 percent.