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Drinking and motorcycle club culture

To start with, it's only fair to note that not all motorcycle clubs promote drinking, and some of them expressly forbid it while riders are on their bikes. They know the dangers and work hard to keep riders safe.

However, there is clearly a link between drinking and motorcycle culture, and it's backed up by statistics. For instance, you should know that:

-- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that motorcyclists who are in deadly accidents are as much as 2.5 times as likely to have been drinking as those who are simply riding in passenger cars.

-- Almost half of the riders who die in accidents -- 46 percent, technically -- are then found to have consumed alcohol before getting on the bike. This data comes from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

-- In 2007, the amount of drivers who were impaired by alcohol and then involved in deadly passenger car wrecks went down by a full 6 percent. In that same year, though, the amount of motorcyclists who were impaired and then involved in deadly accidents went the other way, rising by 10 percent.

Again, this isn't to say that all motorcyclists drink and drive, not by a long shot. But it does show that there is an increased danger for those in motorcycle clubs that partake in activities like bar hopping, riding to a favorite bar as a group, or going to biker festivals.

Were you injured in a wreck caused by another rider in your group, perhaps one who was impaired? When a lot of bikes are packed close together, one small mistake can trigger a chain-reaction crash. Those who are hurt may need to know how to seek compensation for their medical costs.

Source: Motorcycle, "The Truth about Drinking and Riding," Jeff Cobb, accessed Dec. 30, 2016

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