Motorcycle accidents are among the deadliest of all road accidents. The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that motorcycle accidents are 35 times more deadly than for passengers in a motor vehicle accident. Here are some numbers about motorcycle accidents:
- Around 88,000 motorcyclists sustain injuries in highway accidents each year.
- At least, 4,800 motorcyclists have died due to road crashes.
- Motorcycle accidents account for 11 percent of all road accidents in the United States.
- Head and neck injuries are the leading causes of fatal motorcycle accidents.
- Motorcyclists or motorcycle riders who are not wearing a helmet have a 40 percent chance of suffering from head injuries compared to those who wear a helmet.
- The use of helmet minimizes the risk of nonfatal injuries by at least 15 percent compared to those who wear a helmet.
- Wearing helmets reduces the likelihood of fatal motor vehicle accidents by up to 37 percent.
- There are over 7.1 million motorcycles currently registered in the U.S.
- The motorcycle fatality rate is currently at 73 per 100,000 registered motorcycles; while passenger vehicle fatality rate is just around 14 per 100,000 registered automobiles.
The number of fatalities due to motorcycle accidents is growing disproportionately as compared to motorcycles registered. This means that as the number of registrations grew the number of fatalities has also doubled.
There are many different causes of motorcycle accidents. Some of the possible causes include:
- Bad weather conditions;
- Going beyond the speed limits;
- Not using turn signals;
- Driving between lanes or splitting;
- Ignoring traffic rules;
- Driving on the wrong side of the road;
- Lack of experience;
- Not seeing the motorcyclist due to obstructions or glare;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Trouble with the motorcycle;
- Roadway problems or defects;
But still the main reason for motorcycle accident is that motorbikes do not offer as much protection as other closed vehicles. While wearing helmets can help save lives, motorcyclists do not have other protection in case a crash occurs.
Helmets can provide some degree of protection, preventing fatal results. In fact, wearing helmets is considered the simplest yet best way to reduce deaths due to motorcycle accidents. It can cut fatalities by up to 37% for motorbike riders and 41% for passengers. Unfortunately, around 40% of all victims involved in motorcycle accidents do not wear helmets at the time of the accident.
It is estimated that wearing a helmet saves around 1,830 lives, and about 800 victims would have survived motorbike crashes had they only worn helmets. While there is an increased advocacy for the use of helmets, motorcycle riders seem to ignore the calls. This is the reason why motorcycle accidents remain to be the deadliest of all car crashes.
Considering the risks, motorcyclists should know and practice safety while riding their motorbikes on the road. Awareness of the importance of helmets is an essential piece of the puzzle in the prevention of motorcycle accident-related fatalities.
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