Across the U.S., 93,000 motorcyclists suffered injuries and 4,957 motorcyclists died in traffic collisions in 2012, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The number of injuries was 15 percent higher than in 2011, and the death toll was 7 percent higher. In North Carolina alone, 198 motorcyclists died in 2012.
The NHTSA reports that 15 percent of national traffic accident fatalities were motorcyclists, and they accounted for 4 percent of vehicle occupants injured and 18 percent of occupant deaths. Of the total motorcyclist fatalities, 7 percent were passengers and 93 percent were those operating the bike. Of the fatalities, 42 percent of the motorcyclists were not wearing helmets while 58 percent were. In North Carolina, 12 percent of the deceased motorcyclists were not wearing helmets but 88 percent were.
Among the fatal motorcycle accidents across the nation, 52 percent were involved with other motor vehicles. In 75 percent of the 2,317 two-vehicle collisions, the motorcycles were hit in the front while 7 percent were rear-ended. Additionally, the 2012 NHTSA statistics show that 22 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes involved fixed objects, 4 percent involved large trucks, 14 percent involved light trucks and 18 percent involved passenger cars.
Due to the lack of protective gear, motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users. When they are injured or killed in a crash, they or their surviving relatives might be entitled to recover damages. To determine whether they have a case for compensation, a motorcyclist or their family members could talk to a personal injury lawyer about their options.
Source: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, “Traffic Safety Facts Motorcycles“, October 17, 2014