NHTSA motorcycle statistics

Louisiana residents might be interested in the national statistics regarding motorcycle fatalities. In 2012, nearly 5,000 motorcycle fatalities occurred throughout the U.S., and 78 of those fatalities took place in Louisiana, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of those 78 fatalities, 95 percent of bikers were wearing their helmets at the time of the crash and only 5 percent were not.

The report defines a motorcyclist as either the motorcycle rider or a passenger, and the NHTSA considers pocket bikes, mini bikes, scooters, mopeds, off-road motorcycles or two- or three-wheeled motorbikes as motorcycles. The study found that the most common type of motorcycle responsible for 93 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes that occurred in 2012 throughout the country was the two-wheeled motorcycle.

Additionally, the report found that there was a significant spike in the number of registered motorcycles traveling on roadways between 2003 and 2012. In 2012, there were more than 8 million registered motorcycles whereas in 2003 there were approximately 5.3 million bikes. During 2012, 15 percent of all traffic deaths were motorcyclists.

Compared to occupants traveling in a typical car, motorcyclists are five times more susceptible to being injured and 26 times more likely to be killed on the roadway, according to the study. The study based these statistics on miles traveled per vehicle in 2012.

Whenever a negligent driver is responsible for a motorcycle accident that causes the biker to be seriously injured, the victim may opt to pursue compensation for his or her accident-related losses through a civil claim. A Louisiana attorney may be able to review official documentation such as police reports and witness accounts for evidence that could help support a claim.

Source: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, "Traffic Safety Facts Motorcycles", October 21, 2014

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