Motorcycle Accidents Kill More Marines than Combat this Year


In the past 12 months, motorcycle accidents have killed more Marines than have injuries sustained in combat in Iraq. This has alarmed Marine officials so much that they have called a meeting to address the problem. Since November 2007, 25 Marines have been killed on motorcycles. Twenty Marines have died in combat during the same 12 month period. It is estimated that 18,000 of almost 200,000 Marines ride motorcycles. The Navy has also seen an increase in motorcycle deaths with 33 over the past year. This is a jump of 65 percent.

Although the Marine Corps has already taken some measures aimed at reducing motorcycle accidents, such as a mandatory basic riding course, and a second course designed specifically at training Marines who ride sports bikes, top brass will be looking at further ways to keep Marines who ride motorcycles alive. Officials have said that any Marine caught riding that has not gone through the training courses will be punished. Marine officials also believe the courses are working: only three of 300 men and women who have gone through the sports bike course have had accidents.

It was first believed that most of the accidents were involving sailors and Marines who were 18- or 19-years-old, but Navy statistics show that most of the victims were around 25. All but one of the motorcycle accidents involving Marines occurred on sports bikes, such as the Kawasaki Ninja.