Motorcycle Accidents and Fatalities Drop in 2013

KML-motorcycle_41462359In 2013, motorcycle accidents in the U.S. have appeared to decline. According to the Governors Highway Safety Assn., 2013 fatalities have dropped 7% nationwide and 13% in California from 2012.  These lower rates may be due to worse riding conditions rather than better riding. The long ,cold winter drove motorcycling miles down in many states.  A former National High Way Traffic Safety official, who authored the study that found the drop in motorcycle accidents, says other things could have helped reduce fatalities as well. Better motorcycle ride training and licensing, reduced alcohol impairment, universal helmet laws, and more driver awareness of motorcycles all may have played their part in cutting down motorcycle rider deaths.

2011 is the most recent year with numbers available, and in 2011 29% of motorcycle fatalities happened when riders had a blood alcohol level above .08%, which is the legal  limit for vehicle operation in California and many other states.

During this same period, 22% of riders involved in fatal crashes did not have valid motorcycle licenses, and more than a third of riders in fatal crashes were speeding.

Fatalities were higher in states that do not have mandatory helmet laws, as currently only 19 states require that helmets be worn by all riders and passengers.

There were 10 times as many unhelmeted motorcyclist accidents in states without universal helmet laws, than in states with universal helmet laws in 2012. According to multiple experts,

helmets are the single most effective way to prevent serious injury and death in the event of a motorcycle crash.

To read more visit the LA Times.

Kenneth G. Marks has been practicing personal injury law since he was admitted to the California Bar in