Approximately five thousand people die in motorcycle accidents in the United States every year, and they are 29 times more likely to die than occupants of passenger cars. The number of fatalities is also much higher in the warmer southern states than in the northern states.
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In addition, motorcyclists are more susceptible to dangerous weather conditions, which increases the risk of a crash. Almost a quarter of all motorcycle fatalities occur because of running into objects. The weather also reduces traction and visibility, making motorcyclists more vulnerable to crashes.
Motorcyclists are also more vulnerable to injuries, with over 80% of motorcycle crashes resulting in injury. This is because motorcycles are less visible than cars and therefore less protected in the event of a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there are over two million disabling injuries caused by vehicle accidents in the United States every year.
Motorcycles are not equipped with safety features like airbags or an enclosed frame, making them more vulnerable to collisions. In addition, a motorcycle’s lowered visibility and high-performance capabilities make them less stable than other types of vehicles.
Speeding is also a common cause of fatal motorcycle accidents. Drivers who speed tend to have poor reaction times, making them more likely to make poor decisions. Drivers who drink alcohol are also at a higher risk for accidents. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent is legally intoxicated, and drivers with BACs of 0.05% or higher are severely intoxicated.
Motorcyclists who don’t wear helmets are at an even higher risk for fatal accidents. Helmets reduce the risk of fatalities by 67 percent. However, only 18 states mandate that all riders wear helmets. This means that many riders don’t wear helmets.
Drivers who are intoxicated are also at a higher risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident. Drivers who have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher are significantly more likely to have a fatal crash.
The NHTSA estimates that motorcycle fatalities account for 14 percent of all motor vehicle deaths in the United States. The Department of Transportation also estimates that every six years, the average driver will experience a vehicle-related accident. The National Safety Council estimates that there are about 12 million vehicle accidents each year. Motorcycles account for a small percentage of all vehicle crashes, but motorcycle injuries tend to be more severe.
Approximately half of the fatal motorcycle crashes occur during daylight hours. During the week, most motorcycle fatalities occur between three and six o’clock in the afternoon. On weekends, fatalities tend to occur more often.
The most common motorcycle accidents involve a vehicle turning left in front of a rider. In many cases, the driver failed to see the motorcycle. In other cases, the motorcycle was hit when another vehicle failed to see it. Another common cause of motorcycle accidents is lane splitting. In some states, lane splitting is illegal, but in others, it isn’t.
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