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Fatal motorcycle accident numbers are not promising

Motorcycling is a popular means of entertainment or enjoyment for some people and for others it can be an economical and convenient method of daily transportation. Of course, riding a motorcycle comes with substantial risks including serious injuries that can cause permanent disability and even death.

Although many riders can understand that a motorcycle offers far less safety than other types of passenger vehicles, they probably still do not expect to die in a motorcycle accident. However, the data on fatal motorcycle crashes is not comforting, as it shows that the number of these accidents is headed in the wrong direction.

The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that, for 2015, the number of deadly motorcycle accidents will be 5,010. That will mark just the third time that annual motorcycle accident fatalities have eclipsed 5,000, and the first time that it has happened since 2008. Moreover, motorcycles represent only a small percentage of the total number of vehicles on the roadways. However, they account for almost 15 percent of all traffic fatalities.

A report by the GHSA urges people to always wear a helmet while riding. Specifically, the report points out that helmet use decreases the risk of dying in a motorcycle accident by 37 percent. Under state law, motorcyclists in New Orleans, and all of Louisiana for that matter, must wear a helmet while riding.

The preliminary data from the GHSA provides a grim outlook on motorcycle safety and fatalities. But, motorcyclists and drivers in other vehicles can stop this uptick in deaths by striving to always make safety their highest priority. Everyone on the road has a responsibility to look out for the safety of others, regardless of whether the person is driving in a car or riding on a motorcycle.

Source: Washington Post, "Sobering news as motorcycles get rolling this season: deaths up 10 percent in 2015," Ashley Halsey III, accessed on July 8, 2016

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