FEWER FATAL MOTORCYCLE CRASHES IN RECENT REPORT
According to a recent national report, there’s some good news tucked in with the bad news about motorcyclist fatalities in the United States: Motorcyclists are still dying at a much higher rate than other motorists, but fatalities decreased in 2017 compared to 2016, when deaths hit an eight-year high.
Preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association showed that across the country, 4,798 people were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2017, compared to 5,251 the year prior, an 8.6 percent decrease, according to the report. In Minnesota 53 motorcycle fatalities were reported in 2017. That compares with 52 fatalities in 2016.
A variety of factors contribute to motorcycle fatalities, including poor decisions by the operator and hazards created by other motorists, the weather and wildlife, but a big contributing factor is helmet use. Helmet use is about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcyclist deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets would be “the single most effective way for states to save lives and save money,” a position backed up by public research.
The American Motorcyclist Association “strongly encourages” the voluntary use of helmets and other personal protective equipment, including gloves and sturdy footwear, but stopped short of endorsing a mandate for universal helmet laws.
Helmet use isn’t the only factor in motorcyclist deaths. Alcohol use plays a big role, too, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. The group’s report shows that in 2016, 37 percent of riders killed in single-vehicle crashes were legally drunk.
If you are injured or a family member is killed in a motorcycle accident in Minnesota, call us for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer. Our lawyers have successfully handled hundreds of MN motorcycle and car accident cases over the last 25 years. We will take the time to explain your rights and make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to.