In the past two weeks, four people in North Carolina (NC) and Virginia (VA) were killed in motor bike wrecks. One of these crashes included a biker losing control on highway N.C. 12 in the Outer Banks, crossing the center line and slamming into a van that was driving from the opposite direction. A woman in the van (on the passenger side) died as a result and the motor bike rider suffered a broken pelvis, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

motor, bike, motorcycle, wreck, crash, accident, NC, VAThe rash of motor bike accidents in the region (including crashes in Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and James City County) is an indicator of just how dangerous and risky it is to ride a motorcycle. Of the four people killed in these tragic wrecks, three were motor bike riders, according to the Pilot. The NC biker was fortunate enough to survive, but could spend weeks, or even months, recuperating from a broken pelvis.

In 2008, over 5,000 motor bike riders were killed in accidents, the highest level since the Department of Transportation began collecting data in 1975 and a 2.2 percent increase from 2007, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Even more disturbing is the fact that motor bike crashes have increased every year for the past 11 years and motorcyclists are 37 times more likely to die in a crash than a passenger in a car and nine times more likely to be injured, according to National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Sadly, the four recent wrecks in VA and NC show that the risks of serious injury and death are omnipresent for motor bike riders. Motorcyclists need to understand that the consequences of a mistake or momentary lapse of judgment are amplified when you’re on a motorcycle as opposed to driving a car since your body is fully exposed in an accident. The best advice to follow in order to avoid becoming a statistic is to follow the speed limit, always wear a helmet, and be extremely cautious while riding your motorcycle.