In 2017, 5,172 motorcyclists died in crashes. This is a 3% decrease from the 5,337 motorcyclists killed in 2016, according to the National Highway Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). Motorcycles made up 3% of all registered vehicles in the U.S. in 2017 yet accounted for only 0.6% of all vehicle miles traveled. In addition, motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 27 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes, when comparing vehicle miles traveled. Sadly, as a Phoenix, AZ motorcycle accident lawyer might tell you, many times the motorcyclist is often blamed for the collision even when it was actually the fault of another driver.
Alcohol is a major factor in motorcycle fatalities. In 2017, motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were found to have the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers than any other vehicle types:
- 27% for motorcycles
- 21% for passenger cars
- 20% for light trucks
- 3% for large trucks
Further, in 2017, 43% of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes were alcohol-impaired. Additionally, motorcycle riders killed in traffic crashes at night were three times more frequently alcohol-impaired than those killed during the day.
Regarding crash conditions, 65% occurred at locations that were not intersections, compared to 35% at intersections. Daylight conditions accounted for 58% of crashes, while the remaining 42% occurred in the dark, during dusk, or during dawn.
The 40-and-older age group made up 53% of motorcyclists in 2017. The average age of motorcycle riders killed in motor vehicle traffic was 42.
Excessive speed may also be a contributing factor, of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes, 32% were speeding, compared to 18% for passenger car drivers, 14% for light-truck drivers, and 7% for large-truck drivers. Motorcycle engine size may be a correlating factor. From 2008 to 2017, the number of motorcyclists killed on motorcycles 1,501 cc or higher increased by nearly 104%, from 566 to 1,155.
Safety factors such as proper licensing and helmet usage may also play major roles. Of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2017, 29% were riding without valid motorcycle licenses. The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,872 motorcyclists’ lives in 2017, and that 749 more lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets. In states without universal helmet laws, 57% of motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets, as compared to 8% in states with universal helmet laws.
Our motorcycle injuries lawyer Phoenix, AZ respects and knows that the injuries sustained in these accidents are typically devastating. Following a crash with personal injuries a motorcycle accident lawyer in Phoenix, AZ can evaluate fault, look into applicable insurance coverage, and assess claims for injuries and damages, a confidential consultation may be a prudent course to take.
For a consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Phoenix, AZ, call Paul Englander, PLC today.
“Paul and his staff were very professional and prompt in responding to any questions or concerns I had. He handled every aspect of my case and made it as easy as possible for me. I would definitely recommend him and contact him for any future needs.”