Motorcycle fatalities in North Carolina fell by 7 percent in 2017 according to preliminary figures released by the Governors Highway Safety Association. The reduced casualty numbers come just a year after the number of motorcyclists killed on America’s roads reached an eight-year high. According to the GHSA, motorcycle casualties in North Carolina fell from 152 in 2016 to 141 in 2017. Motorcycle accident deaths around the country fell by 8.6 percent from 5,251 in 2016 to 4,798 in 2017.
While motorcycle accidents have many causes, road safety groups are focusing their efforts on encouraging motorcyclists and their passengers to wear helmets at all times. Researchers have found that wearing a protective helmet reduces the chances of being killed in a motorcycle accident by 37 percent and decreases the likelihood of suffering traumatic brain injuries by 67 percent.
North Carolina is one of only 19 states to require all motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers to wear safety helmets. A further 28 states have laws in place requiring younger riders to wear helmets. New Hampshire, Iowa and Illinois have no helmet laws at all. However, stricter drunk driving enforcement could also have a profound effect on motorcycle fatalities as GHSA figures reveal that 25 percent of the motorcyclists killed on the nation’s roads in 2016 were legally intoxicated when they crashed.
Claims of contributory negligence are not uncommon in motorcycle accident lawsuits in North Carolina. Most states follow the doctrine of comparative negligence that allows accident victims to pursue civil remedies even if they share some of the blame, but the contributory negligence laws in North Carolina prevent civil plaintiffs from recovering damages in these situations. Experienced personal injury attorneys might anticipate allegations of negligence when representing clients injured in motorcycle crashes, and they may study police reports and accident investigations carefully to prepare for them.
Source: Findlaw, North Carolina Negligence Laws