Motorcycle fatalities are rising nationwide

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People love their motorcycles for all kinds of reasons. Compared to cars or trucks, motorcycles are fun, fuel efficient, less costly to insure, lighter, and exhilarating to ride. Riding a motorcycle, however, is “dangerous. Even at low speeds,” said one motorcyclist who spent three months on crutches after a suffering a hit and run. He’s lucky he wasn’t killed.


According to the Insurance Information Institute (III). In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported an 8.3 percent increase in motorcycle crash fatalities nationwide over the previous year, with 4,976 deaths in motorcycle crashes up from 4,594 in 2014. In 2015, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled, and almost five times more likely to be injured.


Consumer Reports cited a number of key reasons for the increase in fatalities, including:

  • Increased permissiveness from states for riding without a helmet
  • Surges in motorcycle ownership in the 20- to 29-year-old and 50- to 59-year-old age groups
  • An increase in riding while impaired

“These sobering findings provide a stark reminder of how susceptible motorcyclists are to fatal and life-threatening injuries,” Richard Retting, one of the authors of a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association and Sam Schwartz Consulting. “The risk of motorcycle crashes and fatalities is compounded by factors such as alcohol and drug use, increased speed limits, the repeal of state helmet laws, and a record number of vehicles on U.S. roads.”


The Government Accounting Office (GAO) estimated that in 2010 motorcycle crashes cost $16 billion in direct costs such as emergency services, medical costs including rehabilitation, property damage, loss of market productivity including lost wages, loss in household productivity and insurance costs, including claims and the cost of defense attorneys.


Concerted efforts to improve safety are needed to reduce this tragic and unnecessary loss of life, both for motorcycle drivers and drivers of cars and trucks that may overlook motorbikes in their blind spots.


Richard Manger, principal of Manger Law Firm, has extensive experience in litigation and settlements, with a focus on personal injury and workers’ compensation law. We are proud of the strong relationships of loyalty and trust we develop with our clients. We go above and beyond to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. You can contact Richard Manger via email at, or by calling (336) 882-2000.

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