Motorcycle Accidents and Fatalities: Behind-the-Scenes Look

motorcycle accident statistics

In 2015, motorcycle fatalities in the United States were up 8.3 percent from the previous year, with 4,976 deaths said to occur in that year alone. Motorcyclists, reads an article in Insurance Information Institute, are “29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled, and almost five times more likely to be injured.” Plus, when you look at all traffic fatalities, 14 percent of them are motorcyclists.

A report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, though, reveals that the figure of 4,976 was not quite accurate, stating that there were more than 5,000 motorcycle fatalities in 2015 (5,010 people), with figures in 2016 projected to be ten percent higher. This is only the third time in U.S. history that deaths from motorcycle accidents exceeded 5,000.

South Carolina Motorcycle Fatality Statistics

Wondering what states have the most fatalities? When looking at the top five list, that list includes North Carolina (fourth with 185 deaths) and South Carolina (fifth with 184 deaths). Also discouraging is the fact that South Carolina had the third largest increase in motorcycle fatalities from 2014 to 2015, increasing by a whopping 53 percent.

Staying Safe

Insurance.com lists five ways for riders to increase their safety, including the use of a Department of Transportation compliant helmet, even if state laws don’t require one. Bright-colored clothing makes it easier for other drivers to see riders. Never ride a motorcycle when under the influence of alcohol or drugs, drive the speed limit and, when choosing a new motorcycle, select one with antilock brakes.

Antilock brakes (ABS) have been shown to reduce motorcycle crashes for riders from inexperienced to experienced, but especially for newer riders. Inexperienced riders, one study shows, are 30 percent less likely to file accident insurance claims during the first ninety days of ownership, and nineteen percent less likely going forward. Here’s another article sharing how ABS enhance rider safety.

Motorcycle Accidents: Faulty Assumptions

Unfortunately, motorcycle riders don’t always get the benefit of the doubt when there is a crash, with many people assuming the injured biker was at fault. Even a minor accident can lead to significant injuries, even catastrophic ones – from broken limbs to head injuries to fatalities – with onlookers figuring that the motorcyclist must have been careless or otherwise done something wrong to be in this situation.

South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

At the Law Firm of F. Craig Wilkerson, Jr., we advocate for injured motorcyclists and for the families who have lost loved ones in motorcycle crashes. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can promptly begin an investigation, preserving evidence and talking to witnesses. Motorcycle crashes can occur because of:

  • Cars pulling out or turning left into a biker who has the right of way
  • Motorcyclists hit while parked on the shoulder
  • Riders sideswiped or forced off the road
  • Drivers following too close to stop
  • Roadway defects
  • Items falling from vehicles causing a crash

We can also review insurance policies – yours, the other driver’s and any other third parties – to cover losses.

Crashes can be devastating. Let our motorcycle accident lawyers represent you by contacting us online or calling: