Motorcycle crash statistics cause for concern

Missouri drivers may want to know about some statistics involving motorcycle crashes. Nationwide, there is a serious issue with fatalities due to motorcycle accidents, though some parties are taking steps toward increasing safety.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were over 8 million motorcycles on U.S. roadways in 2012. The freedom that these riders enjoy can also lead to serious danger, however. Motorcycles are less stable and are more difficult for other vehicles to see. Because of this, motorcycle riders were 26 times more likely to be killed when they were involved in a crash than occupants of passenger cars in 2012, when measured per vehicle mile traveled. Based on the same metric, motorcyclists were five times more likely to be injured. Statistics also show that significant portions of the motorcycle-riding population who were involved in deadly crashes were speeding, riding without a valid license or had a blood alcohol above the legal limit.

Some efforts are in place, however, to avoid these fatal motorcycle accidents. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has been active since 1974, providing safety training courses to motorcycle riders. A few states have even required that insurers give riders discounts if they complete these courses. Motorcycle manufacturers are also taking steps toward safer rides, with the addition of airbags and anti-lock brakes in some models. In addition, many states have implemented mandatory helmet laws for motorcycle riders, though many of these laws apply only to younger riders.

When a motorcycle rider or car driver is injured due to the reckless driving of another driver, the responsible party may be liable for damages. These could include medical expenses, lost wages and even punitive damages in some cases. A personal injury attorney can bring a civil lawsuit against the negligent driver on behalf of the injured victim.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, “Motorcycle Crashes”, March 2015