Trends in Motorcycle Fatalities: A Review of the Statistics

Every year is not the same when it comes to motorcycle accidents. As more riders are on the road, the number of motorcycle fatalities rises. This increase, however, is tempered by developments in motorcycle and car safety. Noting how these numbers are trending, though, can be helpful to understanding how dangerous it is to ride a motorcycle in New Hampshire or elsewhere in the U.S.

Recent Rise in Motorcycle Fatalities

Unfortunately, the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have shown that motorcycle fatalities are rising precipitously, and in line with the recent increase in road deaths of all kinds.

According to the NHTSA, 2015 saw an 8% increase in the number of motorcyclists who died on the roads of America, compared to 2014. This increase was not just because more bikers were on the road, though: the fatality rates per registered vehicle and per mile driven rose as well.

This meant that motorcycles had 6 times the fatality rate of a car per registered vehicle. Worse, the fatality rate of motorcyclists was 29 times higher than that of people in cars per mile driven.

The Role of Speed

In many of the fatal accidents involving motorcycles, a speeding biker proved to be a factor in the crash.

In the NHTSA’s figures, speeding was defined as a motorcyclist who was either charged with a speed-related offense, or if an investigating police officer indicated that a contributing factor in the crash including racing, driving too fast for the conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit.

No fewer than 33% of the motorcyclists who were involved in a fatal accident in 2015 were speeding under these guidelines, considerably higher than the 19% of car drivers.

Driving Under the Influence

Another trend in motorcycle accidents that was revealed in the NHTSA’s study was the role of alcohol in crashes. More than a quarter of the bikers who were killed in crashes in 2015—27% of them—had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit at the time of the crash. Worse, 42% of the motorcyclists who died in single-vehicle accidents—often the result of losing control of the bike—were over the legal limit, while only 17% of the motorcyclists who died in multiple-vehicle accidents were.

An Increase in Single-Vehicle Accidents

In the NHTSA’s study, motorcyclists were also shown to be involved in significantly more fatal single-vehicle accidents than regular cars. In 2015, 24% of the fatal accidents involving motorcycles happened when the bike hit a stationary object. This was much higher than the 17% for passenger cars, the 13% for light trucks, and the 4% for large trucks.

New Hampshire Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A.

The motorcycle injury attorneys at the Manchester law office of Tenn And Tenn, P.A. represent victims of motorcycle accidents every day. Contact us online or call our lawyers at (888) 332-5855 if you or a loved one has been hurt in a motorcycle accident and needs legal help to get the compensation they need and deserve.

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