Surge in Motorcycle Fatalities

harley-davidson-459594_640Disturbing new data released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) finds that there was a 10% increase in motorcycle accident fatalities in 2015. The GHSA report is based on preliminary data from state highway safety offices, and reveals more than 5,000 motorcycle fatalities in 2015. Overall, more than 450 additional motorcycle fatalities were recorded in 2015 over 2014.

The report also digs into crash patterns, demographics, and other important data. According to the analysis, senior motorcyclists died at much higher rates in 2015, compared to other categories of motorcyclists. Motorcyclists killed in fatalities also tend to be almost exclusively male. Some states however recorded a slight increase in the number of female motorcyclist fatalities.

Most motorcycle fatalities were linked to failure to wear helmets. In addition to failure to wear a helmet, the report notes that the increase in fatalities was linked to the use of alcohol while driving, speeding, and invalid licensing.

Indiana was one of the few states that actually recorded a drop in the number of motorcyclists killed in accidents in 2015. The state recorded a total of 104 motorcycle fatalities in 2015, which was a drop from 125 fatalities the previous year.

So, what can a motorcyclist do to avoid becoming yet another number on these depressing statistics year after year? For one thing, always wear a helmet while riding. No matter what your age, whether you are an amateur or experienced motorcyclist, always wear a helmet while riding. It offers you the kind of protection that no motorcycle can deliver. A helmet protects against the kind of devastating brain injuries that can cause death or long-term disability. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) provides helpful information related to helmet use. They liken the use of a motorcycle helmet to the use of safety gear on the sport field (think football).

When considering the purchase of a motorcycle, select a bike with antilock brakes. These reduce the risk of the motorcycle skidding during a sudden braking situation. This can significantly reduce your risks of being involved in the kind of accidents that cause significant injuries and death.

Avoid driving over the speed limit while riding. Motorcycles are built for speed and driving safely, at safe speeds is a major challenge for many motorcyclists who get carried away with the thrill and adrenaline rush that motorcycling can bring. Of course it goes without saying – never combine motorcycling with alcohol or drugs.

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident as a result of someone else’s negligent act or if you were injured by a impaired motorcycle driver, speak with an Indiana personal injury lawyer at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP.  They will help you assess your legal options.