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Motorcycles account for far too many fatalities

Statistically speaking, motorcycles are involved in fatal accidents far more than other types of vehicles.

That doesn’t mean they’re involved in the majority of deadly accidents, of course. However, the 2013 statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that motorcycles were involved in 18 percent of all fatalities when looking at both passengers and drivers. When looking just at the percentage of traffic fatalities, they came in at 14 percent.

The majority are drivers, at 94 percent, while the other 6 percent were riding along as passengers.

You may say those percentages are low. Clearly, far more people are killed in passenger cars. While this is technically true, the key statistic to keep in mind is that motorcycles are used in a mere 0.7 percent of all miles driven. When looking at registered vehicles, they only account for 3 percent.

In essence, motorcycles are very uncommon. Very few people own them and they make up almost none of the miles driven on a yearly basis, yet they still factor into 14 percent of all fatalities. The fatality rate, then, winds up being six times higher for those on motorcycles than those in passenger cars.

This isn’t to scare motorcycle riders away from their bikes, but simply to show that the risk is clearly quite high. While a simple mistake made by a driver in a car may not leave that driver with a scratch, it can kill a motorcyclist. When negligent drivers cause these accidents, it’s crucial for injured riders and the families of those who have been killed to know their legal options.

Source: NHTSA, “Motorcycles,” accessed June 30, 2017

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