For the third consecutive year, the number of U.S. motorcycle fatalities has risen again with 4,957 riders having been killed on the roads in 2012 according the latest report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Last year, 33,561 people lost their lives in road traffic accidents, an increase of 1,082 compared to 2011. Motorcyclists accounted for 14.8% of all highway deaths and saw the largest increase year on year at 7.1% (4,360 riders were killed in 2011).
This is a significant rise, as 10 years ago less than 9% of all road traffic fatalities involved motorcyclists.
NHTSA’s latest findings also revealed that 93,000 riders or their passengers were injured during 2012, another big increase of 15% compared to 81,000 that were hurt in 2011.
Drunk driving fatalities were also up in 2012, with 33,561 alcohol impaired drivers of all vehicle types killed compared to 32,479 in 2011.
However, of the 4,957 motorcycle riders who died during 2012, 1,390 (28%) were found to have been under the influence of alcohol with a BAC level of 0.8 g/Dl or greater. That was fractionally down on the 2011 figures where 1,397 impaired motorcyclists were killed.
As expected, part of the focus of NHTSA’s report looks at rider fatalities involving those wearing crash helmets and those that were not.
In 2012 there were 10 times as many unhelmeted motorcyclist fatalities in states without mandatory helmet laws (a total of 1,858 unhelmeted fatalities). While states with helmet laws saw 178 unhelmeted fatalities.
NHTSA’s report does not specify what type of helmet was being worn by those who died in 2012 and who also accounted for around 59% of all motorcycle fatalities last year.
Finally, of all the 33,561 U.S. highway deaths during 2012 more than 70% of the people who died were men.
For further information about the NHTSA 2012 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview Report go to: http://www.nhtsa.gov
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