The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has released preliminary statistics regarding fatal motorcycle accidents in 2010.
The GHSA statistics are based on accident reports from January 2010 through October 2010. Data was gathered from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and compared to 2009 statistics.
Motorcycle Accident Fatalities Decrease Slightly
The initial statistics show that fatal motorcycle accidents have actually decreased nationwide from 2009 to 2010 but only slightly with just 2% fewer deaths. Fatal accidents decreased approximately 8% during the period from January to June. From August through October, motorcycle accident fatalities actually increased by approximately 3%. According to the GHSA data, the total number of motorcycle accident deaths for 2010 is estimated at 4,376 or fewer.
Helmet Use Decreases Significantly
According to the GHSA, helmet use dropped significantly in 2010. The number of riders using helmets meeting the federal government's safety standards declined approximately 13%. In 2009, approximately 67% of riders wore appropriate headgear. In 2010, this figure dropped to just 54%. The GHSA data suggests that a decrease in helmet usage could contribute to an increase in injuries, particularly serious or fatal head injuries.
California Motorcycle Accident Deaths Down From 2009
A number of states saw a significant decrease in fatal motorcycle accidents, including California. In 2009, there were 201 motorcyclists killed in the period from January to August. In 2010, there were just 166 deaths during that same period, a 35% decline. Data for the period from September through December was not available.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which also compiles data on motorcycle statistics, reported a total of 352 motorcycle accident deaths in 2010. This suggests that the number of deaths occurring from September through December was nearly double that for the first eight months of the year. Los Angeles County had the most fatalities with 75, followed by Riverside County with 39 and San Bernardino County with 26.
While the statistics suggest that motorcycle accident deaths are decreasing, the decline is not significant enough to suggest that riders are safer on U.S. roadways. Motorcyclists are urged to take appropriate safety measures when traveling, including wearing an approved helmet and observing the rules of the road.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries if you were not at fault. Enlisting the aid of an experienced personal injury lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP represents victims of transportation-related accidents, including motorcycle accidents. We have office locations to serve our clients in cities throughout California, including San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles. More information is available by calling 1-800-718-4658.
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