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An article in the Arizona Republic, citing statistics provided by the the Arizona Automobile Association and Department of Motor Vehicles, provides a sobering look at motorcycle safety in Arizona. According to the Arizona Republic article,

Motorcycle-crash fatalities have risen sharply in Arizona, with 146 riders and passengers killed during 2005. That compares with 118 deaths in 2004 and 75 in 2001, according to statistics from AAA Arizona and the state Motor Vehicle Division.

Riding a motorcycle has never been more popoular recently. Recent gas price spikes have only added to the popularity. Unfortunately, while motorcycle use has increased, so has traffic volume.

“There are more people riding motorcycles today, while streets are becoming more and more congested,” said Detective Walter Olsen of the Phoenix police’s Traffic Education and Safety Unit. “If you put more cars and more motorcycles on the road, there will be more people killed.”

While you may get substantially better gas mileage riding a motorcycle in Arizona, be warned that you need to take extra precautions riding a motorcycle these days. Drive defensively and keep in mind that sharing the road with cars and trucks unfortunately also means that you have a higher risk of getting hit.

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