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Motorcycle Accidents: Fatalities Are on the Rise

Aug 15, 2016 | Motorcycle Accidents, Personal Injury

Car accident deaths have declined in recent years, not because the roads are safer or because drivers are more careful. Instead, the decline in fatalities has been driven largely by the fact that car safety technology has dramatically improved.

Unfortunately, motorcycles and other motorists haven’t benefited from the technologies that make it less likely for people to die in auto accidents — only those in passenger cars benefit. Motorcycle riders and other road users remain at substantial risk of being harmed when and if a collision happens.

Unfortunately, the risk for motorcyclists may be particularly grave, as the Governors’ Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reported recently that the death rate for motorcyclists surged 10 percent over the course of 2015 as compared with 2014. The death rate is expected to remain steady or even rise again this year. This is very bad news with the death toll already at record highs. That said, accident victims will need legal help, and the New York injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff can be there to provide the necessary assistance and advice to pursue a claim for compensation.

A Look at the Stats

The rise in motorcycle accident death rates has been dramatic. According to preliminary data, more than 5,000 people were killed while on a motorcycle over the course of 2015. The data on the number of total deaths shows 10 percent more people died on motorcycles in 2015, as compared with the prior year. In fact, there were more than 450 additional deaths that happened in 2015 as compared with the total death toll over the course of 2014.

If the final data shows what GHSA is suggesting it should, the total number of motorcyclists killed over the course of the year will likely be around 5,010 people killed. This is just the third time in United States history that the total number of fatalities in motorcycle accidents exceeded 5,000. It is the first time since before the 2008 recession that the death toll in motorcycle accidents has topped 5,000.

There are many reasons for the rising fatality rate affecting motorcycle riders. One of the biggest reasons why there are so many more accidents is because there are more people driving than in the past.

With gas prices relatively low, many people opt to take road trips and travel for longer distances of time. Improvements in the economy have also helped to encourage more people to be on the roads due to commuting to work or having more disposable income. This means a greater increase in traffic as well.  The more traffic there is, the greater the chance a driver will make a mistake and harm a motorcycle rider.

Unfortunately, the risk to motorcyclists is substantially greater than the risk to others on the roads GHSA indicates that, per vehicle mile driven, motorcycle riders have a fatality rate that is 26 times higher than the rate of death in passenger cars.  Motorcycle riders can end up paying with their lives if a driver is careless or does not respect the rights of motorcyclists to share the road safely.

When a motorcyclist is hurt or killed, the victim or his or her family need to understand the options available for recovering compensation for losses. Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff can provide help in making a damage claim.  Call an attorney as soon as possible when an accident has occurred.