More than 5,000 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2015, according to the latest findings from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). This reflects a 10 percent increase from the number of deadly motorcycle accidents reported in 2014 – and, perhaps more importantly, represents:
- The reversal of a two-year decreasing trend, during which fatal motorcycle accidents in the U.S. were steadily decreasing.
- Only the third time in U.S. history when fatal motorcycle accidents exceeded the 5,000 threshold.
These and additional findings have been published by GHSA in a report entitled, Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State: 2015 Preliminary Data, which “examines recent trends in motorcyclist crash patterns and fatalities” and recommends “efforts to further reduce motorcyclist crashes and fatalities.”
Deadly Motorcycle Accidents in 2015: A Closer Look at GHSA’s Findings
When comparing the 2015 data to previous years, the GHSA found that:
- 31 states saw an increase in deadly motorcycle accidents while only 19 states saw decreases or no change at all.
- The top 5 states to see the biggest spikes in fatal motorcycle accidents in 2015 included Maine, Vermont, South Carolina, New Hampshire and Wyoming.
- The top 5 states to see the largest drops in deadly motorcycle accidents last year included South Dakota, Iowa, Utah, North Dakota and New Jersey.
- About 1 in every 3 fatal motorcycle accidents occurred in either Florida, California or Texas (the three U.S. states with about 27 percent of the U.S. population).
- For every mile driven, motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers of passenger vehicles.
- In 2015, fatal motorcycle crashes comprised about 14 percent of all deadly traffic accidents on U.S. roadways. To put this into perspective, motorcycles only represent about 3 percent of the registered vehicles in the U.S.
Commenting on these findings, Richard Retting, one of the authors of this report, has stated:
These sobering findings provide a stark reminder of how susceptible motorcyclists are to fatal and life-threatening injuries. The risk of motorcycle crashes and fatalities is compounded by factors such as alcohol and drug use, increased speed limits, the repeal of state helmet laws, and a record number of vehicles on U.S. roads. Concerted efforts are needed to reduce this tragic loss of life.
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Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Attorney at Chappell, Chappell and Newman Attorneys at Law
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident – or if you have lost a loved one in any type of traffic collision, contact a Columbia SC personal injury attorney at Chappell, Chappell and Newman for clear answers about your rights and recovery options, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.
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