Every year, the National Highway Transit Safety Association compiles data on fatal traffic accidents. NHTSA recently released an update to its 2015 motorcycle fatality data. Many troubling trends can be observed:
- There were 8 percent more motorcycle fatalities in 2015 than in 2014.
- Per mile traveled, motorcycle accidents occurred nearly 29 times more frequently than passenger car fatalities.
- 14 percent of all traffic fatality victims were motorcyclists (despite the fact that motorcycles were only 3 percent of registered vehicles).
- 33 percent of motorcycle fatalities involved speeding.
- The average age of a motorcycle fatality victim was 42.
- Weekend fatalities were nearly twice as high as weekday fatalities.
- 27 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatalities did not hold a valid motorcycle license at the time of the crash. (This is nearly twice the rate of passenger vehicles, which was only 13 percent).
- Motorcycle drivers involved in fatalities were more likely to have a previous driving conviction than drivers of large trucks, light trucks, or passenger cars.
- NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,772 motorcyclists in 2015.
- In states without universal helmet laws, 58 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents were not wearing helmets. In states with universal helmet laws, it was only 8 percent.
How You Can Stay Safe on the Road
With all the risks, how can a motorcyclist stay safe on the road?
- Wear a helmet! All helmets sold in the U.S. must now meet federal safety standards for performance.
- Exercise particular caution at night, in inclement weather, and any other time visibility is decreased.
- If you are a motorcycle passenger, make sure that your driver has a proper motorcycle operator’s license. All motorcycle drivers should have proper licensure and experience before entering public roadways.
- How can passenger vehicle drivers keep the roads safe for motorcyclists?
- Always watch for motorcycles. Use particular caution at night, during inclement weather, and anytime visibility is decreased, which makes motorcycles even more difficult to see.
- Eliminate all driver distractions – particularly smartphones, navigation systems, and other electronic devices.
- Use your turn signal! This will help motorcyclists anticipate your movements and avoid a collision.
Contact an Experienced Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the experienced team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law to schedule your free consultation. Call 800-898-4877 with any questions you may have about this difficult and overwhelming experience. We provide the personalized attention necessary to get the compensation you deserve.