Since 2007, there have been seven fatal motorcycle crashes in Westchester County . The vast majority of these Westchester County motorcycle accidents have been caused by two factors: speed, especially around curves, and the rider's failure to wear helmets. Most recently, this past Sunday, Marco Gomez, a 28 year old man, was killed in Yonkers when he apparently lost control of his bike and was thrown into a chain link fence. Preliminary police investigation has determined that Mr. Gomez was not wearing a helmet and was driving at an excessive speed.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that registered motorcycles climbed to 6.68 million in 2006 from 3.9 million in 1996, with fatal motorcycle accidents increasing to 71.9 per 100,000 riders from 55.8 per 100,000 riders. During that same ten year period, car accident deaths dropped substantially due to increased seat belt usage and the ready availability of air bags in most vehicles.
The Westchester County Police has implemented parkway checkpoints (4 of the 7 fatal accidents have occurred on the County's winding parkways) in an effort to reduce these tragic accidents. They hope that these checkpoints, in which bikers are stopped to determine if they have the proper safety equipment and documentation, will motivate motorcyclists to enroll in safety programs such as one given by Bob Simpson, owner of the Smart Rider Motorcycle Safety Program. Mr Simpson's program emphasizes turning properly, as a large percentage of motorcycle fatalities happen on curves, due to speeding, swerving or braking improperly.