The number of motorcycle licenses has increased this summer, and there seems to be more inexperienced riders on the road.

High gas prices have boosted sales of motorcycles and mopeds. But the appeal of the open road and more miles per gallon is carrying a sobering statistic, KMBC’s Bev Chapman reported.

Ten percent of the people who died on Missouri highways last year were riding a motorcycle, state records show.

On Tuesday, two men on motorcycles were injured in a collision at Highways 291 and 58 in Cass County. The highway patrol said they were passing a line of cars and failed to see a truck making a left turn in front of them.

"Statistically, the highest accident rate is someone who learns from a relative, learns from a friend, or just tries to figure it out for themselves," said Claudia Mekins, who teaches motorcycle safety at Maple Woods Community College.

According to the Missouri Division of Motor Vehicles, there are about 9,000 more licensed motorcycle drivers in the state this year.

"I’ve had people say they never thought of riding a motorcycle before. They’re just doing it because of the gas," Mekins said.

But saving money means little if you are injured. Mekins said many of the people turning the keys on two-wheelers haven’t ridden since they were kids.

"When you’re 12, you bounce. When you’re 40, you don’t bounce. When you’re 12, you ride on dirt roads or in the back yard. When you’re 40, you’re on I-435. It’s serious," Mekins said.

There are several schools in the Kansas City area that offer motorcycle training classes.

Source: Youtube

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