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Time of day, alcohol use affect motorcycle fatality rates

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2018 | Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Data published by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that motorcyclists are much more apt to suffer injuries or die in a crash than drivers of passenger cars are.

Another study, published by researchers at Brown University, suggests that older motorcyclists are at significantly higher risk for suffering more serious injuries in motocycle crashes than their younger counterparts are. Researchers attributed this to older bikers’ use of larger bikes that have higher rollover rates and their decreased response rates.

NHTSA data from 2016 shows that the motorcyclist fatality rate was highest in 2007 when 72.48 motorcyclists out of every 100,000 died. By 2008, that number had dropped to 68.52. Fatality rates hovered around the mid- to upper-50s during the years after that. By 2016, 60.90 out of every 100,000 motorcyclists died in crashes.

When compared with the fatality rates that either passenger car or light truck drivers experienced during that same time frame, the data is staggering. In 2006, 13.08 car drivers and 13.01 light truck ones per 100,000 lost their lives in crashes. This is nearly 60 less than the amount of motorcyclists who died. In 2015, 9.48 car operators, 7.70 truck drivers and a staggering 57.85 bikers were killed per 100,000.

NHTSA data shows that most dangerous time of the day for motorcyclists to be out on the road during the week is between 3 and 6 p.m. This is when 23.7 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes occur. On the weekend, 6 to 9 p.m. is a particularly risky time frame for motorcyclists to be out. It’s during that time frame that 24.6 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes occur.

In 2016, there were 5,286 motorcycle fatalities in the United States. At least 30 percent, or 1,600 of them, were deemed to have been caused by alcohol. That same year, at least 18,610 motorists vehicle operators were killed. At least 33 percent, or 6,067, were caused by drunk driving.

When driver error or alcohol are not to blame for these crashes, reckless or distracted driving, speeding and poor driving habits are. After learning more about your loved one’s tragic loss, a Los Angeles fatal motor vehicle accidents attorney may advise you that you’re eligible to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent driver who caused the crash.


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