Motorcycle Accident Fatality Rates Decreased in 2017
I’m Ed Smith, a Pittsburg Personal Injury Lawyer. The overwhelming risks of driving a motorcycle instead of a car are easy to understand, but this does not mean there’s no hope for motorcyclists. The Governors Highway Safety Association had some good news to publish in their newest report, revealing a substantial drop in motorcycle accident fatalities from 2016 to 2017. There were 4,990 motorcycle accident fatalities in 2017, compared to 5,286 in the previous year. In case you were wondering what influenced this lowered statistic, there are both internal and external factors in play.
Contributing Factors that Lead to Less Motorcycle Accident Fatalities
- Weather: Poor weather conditions played a prominent role in this statistic. Mother Nature unleashed her fury with Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Hurricane Irma in Florida, and multiple tornado outbreaks across the country in 2017. Natural disasters resulted in fewer riders in the Southeast and Western regions of the U.S. In the Northeast and Midwest, a harsh, long winter also decreased the number of motorcyclists on the road.
- Helmet use: Helmet use is progressing in the U.S. – there are only three states that have no helmet laws whatsoever. Studies conducted in states with comprehensive helmet laws have shown evidence of less head, facial, and brain injuries. The number of cyclists wearing helmets has increased in the general population, and notably among Western riders. Helmet use among West Coast cyclists went up to 90% in 2016, compared to 74% in 2015.
Recent Efforts Aimed at Reducing Motorcycle Accidents
- Ignition interlocks: One idea that is being tested as an effective method to save lives involves the installation of vehicle ignition locks. These devices function like a breathalyzer because it can measure the blood alcohol content (BAC) in a person’s body. If the device records a BAC that exceeds the legal limit, the interlock activates in a way that prevents the person from starting their engine.
- Combining safety training with licensing: More than a quarter (27%) of all fatally wounded motorcyclists did not have a valid driver’s license on them at the time of the collision. Unlicensed cyclists are also more likely to have never undergone any official training/testing. Moving forward, several states are trying to combine the process of getting your license with safety education courses.
Motorcycles: Safe or Hazardous?
Despite the improvement in motorcycle accident fatalities, the death rate is still 28 times higher than the rate for passenger cars. The hope is that future preventive measures will increase the general awareness of motorcycle safety, to ensure the continuation of this downward trend.
More by Pittsburg Personal Injury Lawyer, Ed Smith:
- Car Hits and Kills Pedestrian in Pittsburg
- Multi-Car Collision Injures Children and Adults Near Pittsburg
- Traumatic Injuries in Pittsburg Car Accident
Pittsburg Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Pittsburg Personal Injury Lawyer. If either you or a family member was involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, I am here to help guide you through the aftermath. Call me anytime at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400 for friendly, free legal advice.
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I am one of the select few California trial attorneys affiliated with the Million Dollar Advocates.
Photo Attribution: Author Zhu Guoyong – Unsplash.
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