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A statistical portrait of motorcycle accidents

Motorcyclists in Tennessee may or may not be fully aware of the risks associated with motorcycle accidents. In 2012, there were approximately 93,000 injuries due to motorcycle accidents countrywide, according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In that same year, 4,957 motorcycle riders were killed due to traffic accidents. These numbers represent a 15-percent increase in injuries and 7-percent increase in fatalities compared with 2011.

Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 15 percent of traffic fatalities, the federal government reports. While motorcycles account for just a tiny fraction of vehicle miles traveled, they are 26 times more likely than other motor vehicles to be involved in a fatal accident and five times more likely to be involved in an injury accident, purportedly.

A head-on motorcycle accident can be particularly destructive. Moreover, head-on collisions account for 53 percent of motorcycle accidents, according to the NHTSA. Single-vehicle crashes, such as when a motorcycle hits a tree, utility pole or some other inert object, account for 22 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents, reportedly.

As these figures indicate, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable during traffic accidents. In large part, that is because they are not protected by the safety devices that are standard in most other modern vehicles. Even seemingly minor collisions may likely result in significant if not fatal injuries for motorcycle riders. These injuries, in turn, can prove to be costly on several different levels.

Victims in motorcycle accidents may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney following the event. The lawyer may advise whether a lawsuit appears viable. For example, if a motorcyclist were to suffer broken bones as a result of an accident caused by an impaired driver, a personal injury suit may be not only viable but warranted too. If successful, claimants in such a lawsuit might be awarded restitution for the economic damages they suffered in connection with the crash.

Source: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, “Traffic Safety Facts Motorcycles”, October 12, 2014

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