Indiana Motorcycle Accident Fatalities Down, but Cause for Concern

motorcycle%20rider.jpgNew motorcycle accident fatalities statistics for Indiana revealed by the Governors Highway Safety Association reveal motorcycle fatalities in 2010 declined by 4 deaths. That decline is too insignificant for Indiana personal injury lawyers to feel optimistic about the state of motorcycle safety in the state.

The overall national decline in motorcycle accident fatalities is not just much lower than in 2009, but the GHSA also fears that motorcycle crash fatalities could actually increase over the next few years, unless states like Indiana take more firm action to prevent motorcycle deaths. The national motorcycle accident fatality numbers dropped by 2.4%, which is much lower than the 16% decline recorded in 2009. The GHSA only considered data for 48 states and the District of Columbia during the first nine months of 2010. However, the agency is predicting that motorcycle accident fatality numbers last year will be in the region of 4,376 fatalities.

It’s not just the fact that there has been a very slight decline in motorcycle accident fatalities this year that should concern Indiana motorcycle accident attorneys. There are also other disturbing indications from the report. For instance, the report showed that fewer motorcyclists are bothering to wear helmets approved by the Department of Transportation. The use of DOT-approved helmets was approximately 16% lower last year. Did this have anything to do with the fact that there was a 16% decline in motorcycle accident fatalities in 2009? Did those numbers lull too many American motorcyclists into a sense of complacency? It’s far too early to tell.

Besides, the decline in fatalities in 2010 was staggered. The decline was the sharpest in the first few months of the year when there were fewer motorcyclists on the road, and the number of fatalities actually increased as the year ended.

Both federal and state governments need to do their bit to save more motorcyclists every year. For instance, the federal administration could look into mandating antilock braking systems, recommended by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, on all motorcycles. Besides, in Indiana, we could do with education of motorists in order to help avoid collisions with motorcyclists, as well as mandatory motorcycle training and helmet education for motorcyclists.