Motorcycle Deaths on the Rise: What Can Be Done to Reverse the Trend?

As Florida injury lawyers, we are concerned by new statistics that show motorcycle deaths are on the rise. The number of fatalities linked to motorcycle accidents grew nine percent last year, according to new data from the Governors Highway Safety Administration.

The Alarming Statistics

Overall, 5,000 Americans were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2012. The figure is more than triple the number of deaths recorded in 1997 and represents the 14th time out of the last 15 years that fatalities have spiked. While Florida is lucky to be one of the few states to see a decrease in motorcycle deaths based on initial projections, the countrywide trend is still alarming. As the GHSA highlights, motorcyclists remain one of the few roadway user groups where no progress can be shown over the last decade.

To reverse this trend, it makes the following recommendations:

  • Increase helmet use: Helmets are proven to be 37 percent effective at preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle operators and 41 percent effective for passengers. NHTSA estimates that 706 of the unhelmeted motorcyclists who died in crashes in 2010 would have lived had they worn helmets.
  • Reduce alcohol impairment: In 2010, 29 percent of fatally injured riders had a blood alcohol concentration at or above the legal limit of .08, the highest of all motorists.
  • Reduce speeding: According to the most recent data, 35 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding, and almost half of these crashes did not involve another vehicle.
  • Provide motorcycle operator training to all who need or seek it: While all states currently offer training, some courses may not be provided at locations and times convenient for riders.
  • Ensure motorcyclists are properly licensed: NHTSA data reveals that in 2010, 22 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes did not have a valid motorcycle license. This compares with twelve percent of passenger vehicle drivers in fatal crashes. The motorcycle license test prompts many riders to complete a training course. By encouraging licensing, states encourage training.
  • Encourage all drivers to share the road with motorcyclists: According to NHTSA, when motorcycles crash with other vehicles, the latter usually violates the motorcyclist’s right of way. Many states conduct “share the road” campaigns to increase awareness of motorcyclists.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Florida accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation.