As you’re driving to and from work or heading off on your road trip this summer, you may have seen more motorcycles than usual. Summer is prime motorcycle season, with motorcyclists taking to the open road and enjoying the warm weather.
With this freedom comes risks. Many cars are also out on the roadways this summer with people enjoying outdoor activities, going to and from family gatherings and more. This increase in both passenger vehicles and motorcycles makes accidents more likely to occur.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accident trends are not going in a positive direction. More and more motorcycles are showing up on Texas roadways, and this is leading to more deaths. If you’re planning to hit the road on your motorcycle soon, read on to learn more about motorcycle injury and death statistics.
Study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the Insurance Information Institute website. This report details information about motorcycle crashes, injuries and fatalities in the United States in 2015. There were 8.6 million motorcycles on the roadways, up from 8 million in 2009. Motorcyclists were five times more likely than those in passenger vehicles to get injured, and 29 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident.
Crash fatalities increased from 4,594 in 2014 to 4,976 in 2015 – an increase of 8.3 percent. On a more positive note, during that same time period, the number of injuries decreased from 92,000 to 88,000.
The fatality rate per vehicle was six times higher for motorcyclists than for occupants of passenger vehicles. Helmet use saves lives, as 40 percent of those killed were not wearing a helmet.
Age is a Factor
More and more older motorcyclists are hitting the roadways. While these older motorcyclists may think they are wiser and more confident, the statistics paint a different picture. Statistics show that 54 percent of fatalities involved motorcyclists age 40 or older. This is a 17 percent increase from 2006.
In 2006, the average fatality victim was 39 years old. In 2015, the average age rose to 42 years old.
Older riders also suffer injuries that are more severe in nature. Older riders tend to ride larger bikes, which roll over more frequently. Older riders are also more fragile and tend to experience declines in reaction times and vision.
The motorcyclist’s actions also cause accidents in many cases. In the NHTSA study referenced earlier, 27 percent of those killed were driving without a license and 33 percent were speeding.
Alcohol use is another major factor. Twenty-seven percent of those involved in a fatal motorcycle crash were above the legal limit. Most fatalities involved those in the 35–39 age group. Alcohol-related crashes were much more common at night.
Get Help from an Austin, Texas Personal Injury Attorney
Motorcycle accidents can cause brain injuries, paralysis and other lifelong injuries. It’s important to obtain the compensation you need to pay medical bills and recover lost wages. If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident, contact Christensen Law Firm, PLLC. Dan Christensen is a former prosecutor who uses his experience and knowledge to help others. Call him today at (512) 872-4834 to schedule a consultation.