Motorcycles may be fun, but they’re also dangerous. The following takes a look at motorcycle accidents by the numbers in the state of Pennsylvania and on a national level. For more content on motorcycle laws and tips for getting the most out of your ride, check out our motorcycle blog.
Motorcycle Accidents and Fatalities
In all of the United States in the year 2013, there were 4,668 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes. This was a decrease from the year 2012 when 4,986 motorcyclists were killed. In Pennsylvania in 2013, there were 3,507 motorcycles involved in crashes, resulting in 181 occupant deaths.
This too was a decrease from 2012, when 210 motorcyclist fatalities occurred. Common causes of motorcycle accidents include left-hand turns and lane splitting. For Pennsylvania, motorcycle accidents accounted for 2.8 percent of total traffic crashes, but 15.7 percent of fatal crashes; on a national level, motorcycle accidents accounted for 14 percent of total traffic fatalities.
In Pennsylvania, 95 percent of victims in fatal motorcycle accidents were acting as the driver at the time of the crash while five percent were passengers. Nationally, 94 percent of victims in fatal accidents were acting as the driver while six percent were acting as the passenger.
The Role of Alcohol in Motorcycle Crashes
Alcohol played a large role in the occurrence of motorcycle crashes at both a state and national level. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reports that there was a total of 10,806 drinking drivers involved in crashes in the state in 2013. Of those, 338, or 9.7 percent, were the drivers of motorcycles.
On the national level, the percentage of drunk motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes was much higher for 2013. Of 4,339, motorcycle drivers killed, 28 percent or 1,232 were alcohol-impaired at the time of the crash. Riders who were killed during nighttime hours were nearly four times more likely to be alcohol-impaired than were riders killed during the day.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 1,630 motorcyclists’ lives were saved due to helmet use. Forty-one percent of the motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents in 2013 were not wearing helmets.
In Pennsylvania, 51.9 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Stay Safe While Riding, and Take Action if Injured
If you’re a motorcyclist, make sure you choose and wear a safe helmet, wear the right gear for riding, plan your route, and never ride while distracted.
If you are involved in a crash and need to file a claim or a personal injury lawsuit, our attorneys can help. Call 215-642-2335 to reach our Cordisco & Saile LLC lawyers at any time of day.