Most of us do not ride motorcycles. We get to work, school and around the town in a standard vehicle like a sedan or SUV. But there are other transportation options out there that people are free to choose. In choosing them, those people shouldn't feel like they are deserving targets of a traffic accident.

A recent report from the Alabama Department of Public Safety highlights the dangers that motorcyclists still face on local roads. Despite the overall decrease in the rate of traffic fatalities in the state, Alabama motorcycle accidents occur at about the same rate as they have in the past.

According to the report, 10 percent of fatal traffic accidents were motorcycle accidents in 2010. In 2011, the rate increased to 11 percent. Since 2008, the overall rate of traffic deaths in Alabama has gone down but with the specific type of motorcycle wrecks remaining consistent. What does this mean? It potentially means a couple of things.

Some safety advocates suggest that more riders need more thorough motorcycling education and safety education. Along with that, however, is another hugely crucial and often ignored reality. Drivers of standard vehicles need to be better educated to share the roads with motorcycles and exercise an equal amount of respect toward bikers.

Much of the public tends to demonize motorcyclists. They hear about a serious motorcycle accident and are quick to blame the rider. That sort of quick judgment can be foolish and a waste of a learning opportunity. Behind many motorcycle wrecks is a careless driver who failed to see a motorcycle and/or made an illegal turn in front of a motorcycle.

Preventing motorcycle accidents will only happen through a joint effort by all drivers, whether they are on two wheels or four.

Source: The Birmingham News, "Driver's Side: Alabama traffic deaths on decline except among motorcyclists," Ginny MacDonald, June 18, 2012