Why motorcycle accidents happen

Statistics compiled in 2013 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) showed that in the United States as a whole that year, some 4,668 died in fatal motorcycle accidents. This was down from 320 fatalities from the previous year. That same year, at least 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in crashes. This number marked a decrease by over 5,000 from the previous year.

Researchers working on this study also determined that when it comes to the fatality rate of motorcyclists versus car drivers, the former are more than 26 more likely to be killed if involved in a traffic accident.

As for what led to many of the motorcyclists' deaths in 2013, researchers suggested that it might have been related to their lack of training as to how to properly operate their bikes. What led them to consider this as a reason for many of the deaths is that they found that 25 percent of those killed didn't have current motorcycle licenses.

At least 27 percent of the motorcycle operators had reportedly been intoxicated at the time of their involvement fatal crash. Only 23 percent each of car drivers or truck operators were later found to have been intoxicated at the time of their involvement in fatal traffic accidents. Alcohol found to be to blame for at least 40 percent of all solo motorcyclist crashes.

Researchers also found that motorcycle operators were most likely to lose their lives when involved in crashes at night. They also found them to be more than four times as apt to be intoxicated than they otherwise would have been had the accident occurred during the daytime.

NHTSA also determined that helmets were were critical to saving the lives of at least 1,630 motorcyclists that year. They noted, however, that some 715 motorcyclists who died could have averted death had they been wearing helmets at the time.

They also concluded that in states like California, where mandatory helmet laws in place, only 8 percent of motorcyclists lost their lives. This compares to 59 percent in states where helmets aren't required.

If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident or have a lost a loved one in one, then a Vista, California, personal injury attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit in your case.

Source: NHTSA, "Traffic safety facts: Motorcycles," accessed Oct. 20, 2017

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